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Full text of "A completed century, 1826-1926; the story of Heywood-Wakefield Company"

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- :. f 

1 826 -1926 










Printed in the United States of America 

JAM 1 21S78 


'The task of adequately portraying a corporation, manufacturing 
many and varied lines of merchandise in seven factories, and 
distributing that product through eleven warehouses, is a diffi- 
cult one; made more difficult by the limitations of space and the 
necessary consideration of the varied view-points of those who, 
it is hoped, will find interest in these pages. Consequently , this 
book is not a history in the general acceptance of the term, nor 
does it contain in any adequate measure the biographies of the 
men who have made the history of the Corporation; and not at 
all does it purport to be an appraisal of the services of those who 
to-day carry on the work: that estimate may be 7nade more fit- 
tingly when the time comes to review a second completed century. 

Levi H. Greenwood, President 

Heyvjood- Wake field Company 

January i, ig26 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 
Lucius Beebe IVIemorial Library 



I. GARDNER: The Story of the "Heywood Brothers" i 

II. WAKEFIELD: Cyrus Wakefield and his Rattan Business 12 

III. CHICAGO: The Heywood & Morrill Rattan Company 21 

IV. THE CONSOLIDATION: Heywood Brothers & Wake- 
field Company 23 

V. ERVING: The Washburn & Heywood Chair Company 28 

VI. PORTLAND: The Oregon Chair Company 32 

VII. MENOMINEE: Marshall B. Lloyd and his Looms 34 

VIII. THE INCORPORATION: Heywood-Wakefield Company 40 

IX. ORILLIA: Heywood-Wakefield Company of Canada, Ltd. 42 




Gardner 65 
Wakefield 82 
Chicago 92 
Menominee 99 
New York Warehouse 105 



The Story of the "Heywood Brothers" 

THE year is 1826. John Quincy Adams is President of the 
United States. Thomas Jefferson, last survivor but one of those 
who signed the Declaration of Independence, is destined to die on 
the Fourth of July. In France, under Charles the Tenth, Lafayette, 
old and feeble, still has eight years of life before him. In England, 
George the Fourth is king. In the United States, only New York 
and Pennsylvania exceed Massachusetts in population and wealth. 
Boston has less than sixty thousand inhabitants. Nearby, in Quincy, 
men are building the first railroad — a four-mrle stretch of track — 
for the purpose of transporting granite on horse-drawn cars from 
quarry to tidewater. Nine years will elapse before the invention of 
the telegraph ; it will be over fifty years before electricity casts its 
glow upon a hitherto dimly lighted world. 

+ + + 
In 1826 the little town of Gardner, Massachusetts, fifty-eight miles 
northwest of Boston on a height of land in the picturesque coun- 
try between the Connecticut and Merrimack Rivers, had less than a 
thousand inhabitants. Here in that year the "Heywood Brothers" 
began to make chairs in a little shed adjacent to their father's farm- 
house where the City Hall stands to-day. Such was the modest be- 
ginning of the Gardner plant of the Hey wood- Wakefield Company 
— the history of which extends back to the earliest days of chair- 
making in America. Associated with each of the varied industries 

[ I ] 

A Completed Century 

that have made New England a great manufacturing centre there is 
often a single name which a mention of the industry at once sug- 
gests. To chair manufacture the name of Heywood bears this re- 

Walter Heywood was perhaps the first of the Heywoods to en- 
gage in chair-making, but nearby, his two brothers, Levi and Ben- 
jamin, were running a country store, and in their spare moments 
they assisted in the work. The business prospered, and soon a new 
shop was built across the street, where fifteen or twenty hands were 
employed. Meanwhile, in 1 829, the country store had been disposed 
of, and two years later Levi Heywood moved to Boston, where he 
opened a store for the sale of chairs — the first "Heywood ware- 
house," leaving to his two brothers the manufacture of the product. 

Fire destroyed the little chair shop in 1834, and, seizing the op- 
portunity so afforded, the business was moved to the shore of Crystal 
Lake — its present location — where the brook, forming the outlet, 
seemed to offer adequate water power for years to come. By the 
purchase of a building standing on this site, forty by twenty-five feet, 
and originally equipped for wood-turning, the brothers came into the 
possession of turning-lathes and a circular saw, the first machinery 
used by them in their enterprise. 

Meanwhile a definite partnership — B. F. Heywood & Company 
— had been formed, comprised of Walter and Benjamin F. Hey- 
wood and a younger brother, William, Moses Wood, also of Gard- 
ner, and James W. Gates, of Boston, and to this number, in 1835, 
was added the name of Levi Heywood, who, returning from Boston 
in that year, entered upon a long and honorable career as the guid- 

[ 2] 






No likeness exists of Benjamin F. Herivoo.i. He -vns cvi extremeh hotnelv man, luid familv tmdilion 
has it that lie ivoiilJ nez'er consent to /lai'e a Jaguerreotvpe or photograph made 


ing hand and leading spirit in what was destined to become a great 

It is unnecessary to chronicle the various changes that took place 
in the partnership within the half-century during which Levi Hey- 
wood exercised a determined and far-seeing control. Keenly alive to 
the possibilities of the use of machinery in chair-making, he insisted 
upon its installation to such an extent that his early partners, dismayed 
at such innovations, withdrew from the concern . Thus Levi Hey wood 
became the sole owner of an enterprise to which he gave new im- 
petus by the skill, mechanical ability, and ingenuity that he exhibited 
in its management. Machinery which he adopted soon placed him 
in the lead of his competitors. Later, there became associated with 
him a younger brother, Seth, and, as the years swept by, members 
of a later generation of the Heywood family: Calvin and Charles 
Hey wood, sons of Levi; and Alvin M. Greenwood, a son-in-law; 
George and Henry Heywood, sons of Seth ; Amos Morrill, a son- 
in-law of Benjamin F. ; and, in addition, Henry C. Hill, at one time 
superintendent of the Paint Shop. 

Through all these years, until his death in 1882, the foresight 
of Levi Heywood blazed the way. His inventive genius manifested 
itself in machines for making chairs with wooden seats, for a type 
of tilting chair, and for processes of wood-bending that caused Fran- 
cis Thonet, of Vienna, the head of what was in those days the largest 
chair-manufacturing plant in the world, to write, subsequent to a 
visit he had made to the Heywood factory, " I must tell you can- 
didly that you have the best machinery for bending wood that I 
ever saw, and I will say that I have seen and experimented a great 

[3 ] 

A Completed Century 

deal in the bending of wood." Later, wiien rattan began to be used 
in chair-making, Mr. Heywood forwarded the movement by the 
invention of machines for splitting and shaving rattan. 

The years were not, however, without their vicissitudes. In 1 86 1 , 
when a fire razed the factories, Levi Heywood, who had watched 
his buildings burn, stopped at a neighbor's house on his way home. 

{A typical "chair-rack" may be seen in the foreground) 

sat down, and drew his fingers through his hair. "If the good Lord 
lets me live ten years, I '11 make some money yet," he said valiantly. 
He and his brother Seth raised money in the town, giving personal 
notes for amounts long since paid in fiiU with interest, and a new 
building was begun at once. 

Always confident of the future, Levi Heywood never was dis- 
mayed by an increasing payroll. He would often pause before the 
high desk chair of the bookkeeper to inquire the amount, and his 



usual comment was, " It shall be larger by and by." It was Levi 
Heywood who brought the first Irishman to Gardner — a tall laborer 
whom he discovered in Boston and whose baggage he checked 
through himself. More Irishmen came later, direct from the old 
country, and other nationalities drifted in as the years roUed by. 

A few anecdotes which are still told about Mr. Heywood are in- 
teresting and amusing. His impatience with employees who watched 
the clock was well known. At one period he was greatly disturbed 
because the machinists had fallen into the habit of washing up early 
so that they would be ready to leave the moment the whistle blew. 
He had already reprimanded them several times with his usual aus- 
terity. One day, five minutes before closing time, he found the men 
with their coats on, lined up and ready to dash fi-om the machine 
shop when the whistle sounded. Every one expected an angry out- 
burst, for the old gentleman glared when he saw the preparations 
they had made for leaving, but he waited a moment and then drawled : 
"I'm going to play a hell of a trick on you men one of these days. 
I'm going to teU the engineer to blow the whistle ten minutes ahead 
of time." 

Almost any applicant for a position could testify to the practical 
side of Levi Heywood's nature. Himself a Mason, he interrupted 
one man who began to tell at length of his Masonic degrees with 
" I don't care if you are a Mason. What can you do ? " Yet at heart 
he was a boy, as the following incident will show. It was a custom 
of Gardner youths to ring the church bell on the Fourth of July 
provided they could get at the beU rope. On one occasion some un- 
sympathetic person had removed the tongue from the bell, so the 

[5 ] 

A Completed Century 

boys found the efforts they had spent gaining an entrance to the bel- 
fry apparently to no purpose. They trooped in a body to Levi Hey- 
wood, who was called "Uncle Levi" by most of them. "Well," 
the old gentleman said upon hearing their complaint, "I own half 
of that bell. You go and ring my half with an axe." 

In his later years Mr. Heywood had been interested in a plan for 
a public library, and not long after his death, Mrs. Alvin M. Green- 
wood and Calvin Heywood, his only surviving children, presented 
to Gardner in his memory the Levi Heywood Memorial Library, 
which was dedicated on February 4, 1886. An endowment, pro- 
vided by Mrs. Greenwood during her lifetime, was followed by a 
bequest in her will of additional money for books. 

The death of Levi Heywood and of his son Charles in 1 882 and 
the retirement of Seth Heywood in the same year left, as surviv- 
ing partners of Heywood Brothers & Company, Henry Heywood, 
George Heywood, Alvin M. Greenwood, and Amos Morrill. A few 
years later, members of the third generation of the Heywood family 
began to take their places on the stage. In 1887 George Heywood 
retired, and George H. Heywood, son of Henry Heywood, became 
a partner ; a year later, Calvin H. HiU, son of Henry C. Hill, and 
John D. Walsh, assistant to Amos Morrill, then manager of the New 
York warehouse, were admitted to the firm. Upon the death of 
Amos Morrill in 1 89 1 , his widow, Mary A. Morrill, succeeded him, 
and when Alvin M. Greenwood died the following year, his son, 
Levi H. Greenwood, entered the partnership. 

On the shore of Crystal Lake, within a stone's throw of the 
nearer buildings of the present plant, to-day stands the Greenwood 



Memorial, a public bath house built as a memorial to Alvin M. 
Greenwoodandhiswife,HelenR.Heywood, daughter of Levi Hey- 
wood, and given to the town of Gardner by their son. Steam for the 
operation of the plant is supplied without charge by the Heywood- 
Wakefield Company. 

The days of the partnership were now fast drawing to a close. Al- 
ready a third of a century had passed since the huge wagons, drawn 
sometimes by six horses, conveyed the finished chairs from Gard- 
ner to the Boston market, a two days' journey over a road that may 
be covered now by motor car in two hours. Barns at the hotels along 
the way were buUt especially large so that these " chair racks " could 
be driven in. The construction of the Fitchburg Railroad in 1854, 
whose builders had been forced, by the determination of Levi Hey- 
wood, to run their line through Gardner rather than to the north- 
ward as they had originally planned, gave the concern an outlet for 
its product and access to the lumber regions of New Hampshire and 
Vermont. Twenty years later, ably assisted by his son Charles, Levi 
Heywood was to be instrumental in building the Boston, Barre & 
Gardner Railroad that formed a connecting link between Worces- 
ter and the north. 

Wagons, piled high with chair-seat frames and bundles of cane, 
continued to call, however, at the farmhouses of the countryside to 
leave work for the farmers' wives and children, for " cane seating" 
was still done by hand. But the practice was passing ; already power 
looms, produced by the inventive genius of Gardner A. Watkins, 
long an employee of the Heywood plant, were weaving cane into 
a continuous web. To fasten the woven cane webbing, produced 


A Completed Century 

on these looms, to the chair seat, Mr. Watkins invented an auto- 
matic channeling machine, and into the groove cut by this machine 
the edges of the web were pressed and then fastened with a spline. 
Other valuable contributions to the industry made by Mr. Watkins 
included a process of splicing cane, the development of power ma- 
chines for bending wood, and a machine for making special springs. 
Meanwhile it had been discovered that reed, the pith of the rattan, 
when wetted was pliable enough for hand weaving. Chairs, there- 
fore, might be made of reed as well as of rattan. Indeed, reed proved 
superior to rattan for chair-making inasmuch as its porous surface 
permits the application of a stain or other finishing material. Hence 
no longer need this by-product, together with cane shavings, be 
burned in huge bonfires to the delight of Gardner boys. Such had 
been the fate of all reed produced, save during Civil War days, when 
this material was used in the construction of frames for hoopskirts. It 
was not long before the large piles of reed, which no one had known 
what to do with, melted away, and it became necessary to cut rattan 
for reed instead of for cane. 

Interesting, indeed, are some of the incidents of these early years. 
About i860, chairs with painted landscapes and baskets of fruit 
and flowers, plentifully decorated with gold leaf, were popular, and 
to the Gardner plant about that time came two English brothers, 
Thomas and Edward Hill. For several years they decorated chairs 
in this fashion, and their method was interesting. Instead of complet- 
ing one chair before beginning another, each would group a dozen 
chairs about him in a circle, dabbing a spot of one color on each 
chair in turn, until, finally, twelve landscapes or twelve baskets of 





fruits and flowers sprang into being almost simultaneously. Though 
without technical training, both men were true artists, and later, 
after they had severed their connection with the Gardner industry, 
Edward settled in New Hampshire, where he became noted for his 
paintings of scenes in the White Mountains, while Thomas drifted 
to California and became the great painter in his day of the Yosemite 
Valley. In the Historical Society Building at Concord, New Hamp- 
shire, hangs a painting by each of these brothers, the more notable 
being that of "Crawford Notch" (in the White Mountains), by 
Thomas Hill, and in the E. B. Crocker Art Gallery at Sacramento, 
California, is a celebrated painting of the Yosemite by the same 

Occasionally slight happenings have figured prominently in the 
development of a product, as is illustrated by an old story relative to 
the discovery of a new design for a rocking-chair. Two workmen, 
on their way home from the factory late one winter afternoon, began 
pushing each other into snowbanks. As one of them picked himself 
up from a fall, he turned and, looking at the imprint he had made, 
remarked that it would be an excellent plan to make a chair in that 
form. His idea resulted in the designing of the "comfort rocker," 
a type that had an enormous sale for years and that is still manu- 

The later days of the partnership witnessed a rapid expansion of 
the business. In 1 870 the firm acquired a half-interest in the wood- 
working plant operated in the town of Erving, Massachusetts, by 
William B. Washburn, and the manufacture of chairs was begun 
there. In or about i 874 the Company began making chairs and fur- 

[9 ] 

A Completed Century 

niture of reed and rattan as an addition to the regular line of wooden 
chairs, and the extent and variety of the production increased rap- 
idly. The manufacture of children's carriages, which in turn attained 
great importance, was taken up a little later, the Company being 
among the first in the country to make baby carriages of rattan and 
reed. Responsive to the demands of a generation overfond of ornate- 
ness in design, reed workers became veritable wizards and attained 
results truly astonishing. The year 1 884 witnessed the beginning in 
a small way of manufacturing operations in Chicago, which two 
years later were to expand greatly with the buUding, in part, of the 
present Chicago plant. 

To assist in marketing the product of the rapidly growing busi- 
ness, warehouses were opened in various cities from time to time. By 
the middle of the nineteenth century American chairs, in cases of six 
or twelve, were being exported in thousands of dozens. Almost every 
vessel that left northern ports carried chairs to South America or the 
West Indies, the countries bordering the Mediterranean, the newly 
settled regions of Australia and California, the European settlements 
on the Cape of Good Hope, and even the partially civilized islands 
in Polynesia. As the holds were usually filled with agricultural ma- 
chinery and heavy rails, only light freight was permitted on deck, 
and chairs were especially in demand for the empty space. The open- 
ing of a warehouse in New York City in i 867 was occasioned by 
the necessity of rendering better service to this export trade. In i 874 
a warehouse was opened in Philadelphia, which was followed two 
years later by the establishment of a similar branch in far-distant San 
Francisco, and a year later by that of a warehouse in Baltimore. A 

[ 10] 


branch of the San Francisco warehouse was opened in Portland, 
Oregon, in 1884, and another branch at Los Angeles in 1886. 

Although, as already stated, Levi Heywood had for a few years 
conducted a salesroom in Boston in the very early days of the busi- 
ness, and although at various times selling agents in Boston had been 
very closely identified with the Heywood Company, it was not until 
1886 that a warehouse directly connected with the Company was 
established in that city, a fact due to the readiness with which orders 
from New England dealers could be handled by the Gardner factory. 
With the facilities afforded by two factories and six warehouses, the 
prosperity of the partnership continued unabated until i 8 97, the year 
of its consolidation with the Wakefield Rattan Company and the 
Heywood & Morrill Rattan Company. 

[ " ] 



Cyrus WahefeU and his Rattan Business 

ONE morning in the year i 844 a young man stood on a wharf 
in Boston watching the unloading of a vessel just arrived in 
port. A stevedore threw a small bundle of rattan over the railing of 
the ship. The moment for which the youth was waiting had evidently 
arrived and he hastened up to the mate and asked what he intended 
to do with the discarded rattan. He was told that it was of little 
value and served chiefly as ballast to prevent the cargo from shifting 
on its long voyage from the East. So he secured the rattan for a small 
sum, and, shouldering his burden, carried it to the grocery store on 
the water-front which he and his brother conducted. The purchaser 
was Cyrus Wakefield, founder of the rattan and reed industry in this 
country, and this transaction was the beginning of a business which 
later became that of the Wakefield Rattan Company. 

Cyrus Wakefield was born on February 14, i 8 1 1 , in Roxbury, 
New Hampshire. At the age of fifteen, after several fixtile attempts 
to find congenial employment near home, he went to Boston " to 
seek his fortune. "It was in that same year of i 826that theHeywood 
brothers began their efforts to make their fortunes in the little chair 
shop in Gardner. Clerkships in various grocery stores gave young 
Wakefield a knowledge of that line of work, and the year 1836 found 
himapartner in the grocery business with his younger brother, Enoch, 
under the firm name of Wakefield & Company. It was from his 
store on the water-front that Cyrus Wakefield, watching the ships 

[ 12 ] 












MaJe by Cvnis ll'akeJieU 

Made by Cyrus IVakefield 


sail in from their long and adventurous voyages, conceived the idea 
of utilizing the rattan which, after serving to protect the precious 
cargo, was thrown as refuse upon the wharf. 

Cyrus Wakefield disposed of his first purchase of rattan to basket- 
makers, who, stripping oft^ the outside covering, used only the reed 
or pith of the rattan in their weaving. The outer cane was in turn 
sold to chair-makers, who used it for seating chairs. Cyrus Wakefield's 
first favorable purchase led to others, and in i 844 he sold the grocery 
business to his brother and rented an office at the corner of Commer- 
cial and Cross Streets, where he began a jobbing trade in rattan. 

One limitation of the rattan business lay in the fact that stripping 
the cane from the reed was a slow and laborious task, since it could 
be done only by hand. Realizing the drawback, and confronted with 
an increasing demand for cane, Cyrus Wakefield wrote to a brother- 
in-law, who was associated with Messrs. Russell & Company, of 
Canton, China, sent him samples of the cane, and asked if it could be 
imported from China, thus saving the greater cost of labor in this 
country. Within a few years, cane which he imported from Canton 
was widely used. 

Although importations ceased with the outbreak of the Opium 
War between the European powers and China, Cyrus Wakefield 
had already resolved not only to attempt the manufacture of cane, 
but to utilize as far as possible all of the rattan. The American Rattan 
Company of Fitchburg was at that time the only concern that cut 
cane by machinery. Although only the cane was used for seating 
chairs and the reed was wasted, Mr. Wakefield determined to use 
the reed as well as the cane, and even the shavings which resulted 

[ 13] 

A Completed Century 

from the separation of the two. A fortunate purchase, by which he 
practically cornered the market, furnished the necessary capital for 
his first plant in the old Wakefield Building on Canal Street, Boston. 
Here he started with only two machines, crude affairs operated by 
hand. Thiswas thebeginningof the Wakefield Rattan Company, soon 
to be known throughout the world. Cyrus Wakefield also adopted for 
his specialty the spelling "rattan" instead of "ratan," and by persistent 
use forced the standard dictionaries to recognize it as the approved 

The property in Wakefield, now occupied by the Heywood- 
Wakefield Company, at the time of its purchase by Cyrus Wakefield 
in 1855 consisted of two mill ponds, one on each side of Water 
Street, and a few small buildings previously used for manufacturing 
purposes. On the site of the present office building was the first saw 
and grist mill in South Reading, as the town was then called. Using 
the water power flirnished by the mUl ponds, the new owner began 
the manufacture of reed baskets and skirt reeds, or hoops, for hoop- 
skirts. The earliest picture of the Wakefield plant shows a fashion- 
ably dressed woman with an enormous hoopskirt walking sedately 
through the grounds. The variety of the basket production was end- 
less, and included market, school, sewing, and fancy baskets in hun- 
dreds of weaves. When steel was substituted for reed in hoopskirts, 
Cyrus Wakefield turned his attention to the manufacture of cane for 
chair-seating. He soon realized that the whole project would end in 
failure unless more adequate machinery could be devised. So suc- 
cessfiil was he in the development of such machines that ten years 
later he employed about two hundred hands, and was producing an 

[ 14] 

THE WAKEFIELD FAl ToR'i' (Ai-.crr 1^5(1) 
Note the " enortnous hoopskirl " referred to in the text 


These ivooilen buildings tvere painted a stra-M color — the color of rattan — a practice 

still folloived at the IV ake field plant 

• Wakefield 

amount of rattan products several times in excess of that of his chief 
competitor, the American Rattan Company. 

In his efforts to use every part of the rattan, Mr. Wakefield de- 
vised and patented a process of spinning the larger shavings into yarn 
from w^hich mats, floor coverings, and "baling cloth" were made 
either by hand or on hand looms. This product found a w^ide market 
for many years, but finally an improved material w^as discovered in 
coir fibre, and with its substitution was begun the manufacture of 
the present-day product of the Mat Department of the Wakefield 

Ably assisting Mr. Wakefield in his efforts for the utilization of 
the waste products of the rattan was WiUiam Houston, for forty 
years superintendent of the Mat Weave Department. Born in Paisley, 
Scotland, a town world-famous for the weaving and spinning of 
shawls, Houston brought to America a knowledge of spinning and 
weaving acquired by actual experience in his native land. An old- 
fashioned spinning-wheel, borrowed from a ropewalk on Cedar Street, 
Wakefield, on which Houston in i 862 spun the first yarn for rattan 
matting, was kept as a curiosity for many years in the Weaving 
Department. The business had developed to such an extent by i 8 8 i 
that more than one hundred spinning-machines were weaving various 
kinds of matting. In 1863 Houston introduced the "Union Coir and 
Rattan," and also the well-known "Diamond A" matting of that 
period. He continued to experiment, and in 1866 wove the first 
brush mat ever made of rattan. So successflil did this phase of weav- 
ing become that by i 8 8 i fifteen varieties of brush mats were manu- 
factured by the Company. After the success of his experiments in 

[ 15 ] 

A Completed Century 

making brush mats, Houston devoted his time to weaving reeds into 
v^indow^ shades and table mats. In 1870 he introduced a loom to 
v^eave a cane web for chair bottoms. The webbing, because of its 
coolness, cleanliness, and durability, soon became popular for seats in 
railroad and street-railway cars, and has been so used extensively ever 
since. In i 876 he introduced the Kurrachee rugs, which for many 
years were produced in large quantities. 

Meanwhile, during these years of endeavor, the business thrived. 
A Boston office was established at 98 Canal Street ; increasingly large 
importations of raw material came from the East in Cyrus Wake- 
field's own ships ; and the sale, not only of rattan, cane, and reed, but 
of rattan furniture, matting, cane-seating, and an endless variety of 
reed baskets, constantly increased. 

On the morning of Sunday, October 26, 1 873, Cyrus Wakefield 
died suddenly. His death was noted, not merely because he had been 
the head of the largest rattan industry in the country ; his activities 
covered a much broader field. Though neither a native nor a resi- 
dent of Boston, he possessed a confidence in its fiiture that residents 
of that city might well have shared, with financial profit to them- 
selves. Convinced that Boston had a friture, he purchased land on 
Hanover Street in 1863 and afterwards other property on North 
Street. Still later he bought and consolidated seven estates in the same 
section of the city. The "North End" particularly drew his atten- 
tion. He felt sure that Washington Street would eventually be ex- 
tended to Haymarket Square, and directed his energies to bringing 
it about. In the three years preceding his death he made a number 
of purchases of real estate in that locality. He did not live to see even 

[ 16] 


i5XSCS:A.s.c3-i3sra- a. qarcjo of 



■<i.V' ' 



From an old auj -very rare Print 

at IVakefielJ, Massachusetts 


the beginning of the extension of Washington Street, but the credit 
for its successful completion and for the rapid development of the 
"North End" is due largely to him. Like Levi Heyw^ood, he inter- 
ested himself in railroads, being a director of the Boston & Maine, 
the Fitchburg, the Nashua, the Acton & Boston, and the Middlesex 
Railw^ays, and the largest stockholder in the first two roads. 

.Cyrus Wakefield had become so identified with the growth and 
prosperity of the community of South Reading, through his public- 
spiritedness, his encouragement of education, and his numerous bene- 
factions, that on January 20, 1868, several years prior to his death, 
the citizens of the town unanimously voted to change its name to 
Wakefield in his honor. Three years later his gift to the town — a 
new town hall building — was dedicated. 

A few months before he died, Cyrus Wakefield was engaged in 
organizing the Wakefield Rattan Company ; indeed, hardly two 
weeks before the death of its founder, the Company was incorpo- 
rated with a capitalization of? 1,000, 000. Cyrus Wakefield, George 
H. Worthley, and Everett Hart comprised the first board of direc- 
tors. Cyrus Wakefield was elected president and George M. Dennis, 
treasurer. The stock, with the exception of a few shares, was held 
by Cyrus Wakefield, and upon his death it passed to his estate. He 
left no children; but a nephew, Cyrus Wakefield, 2d, was called 
home from Singapore, to assume the responsibilities of manager of 
the Company and of upholding the prestige of an honored name. 

Cyrus Wakefield, 2d, was born in Sangerfield, New York, in i 8 3 3 , 
and when twenty-two years of age entered the employ of his uncle, 
Cyrus Wakefield, in Boston. So quickly did he grasp the problems 

[ n ] 

A Completed Century 

of the rattan business, and so expert did he become in judging rattan, 
that his uncle, in recognition of his exceptional ability, had sent him 
to Singapore, in 1865, as his representative in the East. Upon his 
return from Singapore a few months after the death of his uncle, 
Cyrus Wakefield, 2d, was elected president of the Wakefield Rattan 
Company. Two years later, the Company acquired the property of 
its chief competitor in the rattan industry, the American Rattan Com- 
pany of Fitchburg. This sizable increase in the activities of the Cor- 
poration led to a reorganization of the management. Mr. Wakefield 
resigned as president and accepted the office of" Managing Director 
of the business to be conducted at Wakefield and the sale of goods 
there manufactured." Similarly, Foster Pierce, who in that year had 
been added to the board of directors, was elected "Managing Direc- 
tor of the business to be conducted at Fitchburg and the sale of goods 
there manufactured." In i 878 the Fitchburg plant was discontinued, 
its machinery being transferred to the Wakefield factory. Joseph B. 
Thomas, who had succeeded Mr. Wakefield as president upon the 
resignation of the latter, resigned, and Mr. Wakefield again became 
president of the Company. Mr. Thomas was again made president 
four years later and Mr. Wakefield was elected treasurer, combining 
with the duties of that office the active management of the business, 
until his death in 1888. 

During all these years the Company enjoyed a steady and rapid 
growth. It had maintained offices and salesrooms in Boston from its 
earliest days, and the " old Wakefield Rattan Building," fronting on 
Canal and Friend Streets, was for years a landmark in the city. As 

early as 1 876, a warehouse, located on the site of the present Wool- 

[18 ] 


worth Building, was in operation in New York, under the manage- 
ment of Daniel G. Bacon, a director. Warehouses were in operation 
in Chicago and San Francisco in 1883, and in 1 887 a factory was 
established in Chicago. 

An amusing story is told of the purchase of a Chicago plant for 
this purpose. At that time the rivalry between the Wakefield Com- 
pany and the Heywood Company was very keen ; nevertheless, the 
two concerns decided to establish a joint manufacturing enterprise 
in Chicago. Representatives of both concerns met in Chicago for the 
purpose of finding and leasing a suitable building. The first day's 
search was fruitless, and it was understood that the quest would be 
renewed the following day. Next morning, however, the Heywood 
representatives found that the Wakefield men had breakfasted early 
and departed, leaving no message for them. Later in the day Mr. 
Wakefield and Mr. Lang returned to the hotel and informed Mr. 
Henry Heywood and Mr. Morrill that they had found a satisfactory 
plant, so satisfactory, in fact, that they had decided to purchase it in- 
dependently of the Heywood Company and to operate it themselves. 
After the storm that followed, the Wakefield representatives went 
home and the Heywood men continued their search, which resulted 
in the purchase of the Taylor Street location, now the site of the 
Chicago factory. It is safe to assume that competition was keener 
than ever during the years following this Chicago episode. 

Upon the death of Mr. Wakefield in 1888, Charles H. Lang, Jr., 
was elected a director and manager of the Company, "his duties to 
be confined to the supervision and direction of the manufacture and 
sale of merchandise." At the annual meeting of the Corporation the 

[19 ] 

A Completed Century 

following year, he was elected treasurer, and from that date his was 
the guiding hand in the affairs of the concern. Upon the death of 
Mr. Thomas in 1 89 1 , Temple R. Fay, a member of the board of 
directors, was elected president, an office which he held until the 
consolidation with Heywood Brothers & Company and Heywood 
& Morrill Rattan Company, in i 897. 

The plant of the Gibbs Chair Company at Kankakee, Illinois, 
was purchased in 1893, but was sold four years later when, after 
the consolidation, it seemed probable that the Chicago plant of the 
Heywood & Morrill Rattan Company offered adequate facilities for 
the combined interests. 




The Heywood & Morrill Rattan Company 

OCCUPYING a city block, not including the space in which 
lumber is stored, the Chicago factory and warehouse are lo- 
cated on the "West Side " — a typically industrial section made dingy 
by the smoke that issues from many chimneys. It is hard to realize 
that, when this plant was built, a vast plain extended as far as the 
eye could see, the few small farmhouses that dotted it seeming to 
give promise of a beautiflil suburb quite apart from the conflision 
of the city. The truth of this statement, however, is attested by the 
walls of the original building, which, set twelve feet back from the 
street as though economy of space were unnecessary, give evidence 
that they were buUt when no one dreamed that every foot of the 
land would become of value to a factory owner, and by the fact that 
there is still in the employ of the Company a workman who forgot 
his glasses one morning and sent a boy for them, pointing across 
many broad fields to a white house where the messenger was to go. 
Those were days when one had to walk a mile to the factory from 
the nearest car line, often in mud that came above the ankles. 

Prior to the erection of the first building on this site in 1888, 
manufacturing operations had been carried on in a building on 
West Washington and Union Streets. For two years reed chairs were 
made here under the joint supervision of George A. Ellis, a salesman 
who had long traveled in western territory for the Company, and 
James S. Piper, an employee of the Gardner factory. 

[ 21 ] 

A Completed Century 

As the quarters on West Washington Street soon became too small 
for the expanding business, the erection of a larger plant was decided 
upon, and after an investigation of many "prairie sites" (for such 
they virtually were) , the site of the present factory was selected be- 
cause its location at the crossing of two important railroads afforded 
excellent freight facilities. With the determination to build a new 
plant came the decision to send to it, as manager, George H. Hey- 
wood, who had been made a partner in Heywood Brothers & Com- 
pany the preceding year, and the first building was erected under 
Mr. Heywood's supervision. 

Mr. Heywood returned to Gardner in 1 89 1 , and was succeeded 
in Chicago by Calvin H. Hill, who, in 1888, had been admitted 
to the firm. Originally transferred with the expectation of remain- 
ing three years, as in the case of Mr. Heywood, Mr. Hill became so 
interested in the plant that at the end of the period he expressed a 
willingness to remain permanently, and for thirty years, until 1 923, 
he was in charge of the manufacturing operations. Wings were built 
on either side of the factory in i 892 and the production of wooden 
chairs was added to the original output, which up to that time 
had consisted only of reed chairs and baby carriages. As there was 
no suitable place to store lumber, the site of the present lumber yard 
on the opposite side of Taylor Street was purchased in the same 
year. The need of a sales manager became apparent as the business 
increased, and Samuel Sailor, then manager of the Philadelphia ware- 
house, was transferred to Chicago in i 897, the year of the consoli- 
dation of Heywood Brothers & Company and the Wakefield Rattan 

[ " ] 





Heywood Brothers & Wakefield Company 

THE partnership of Heywood Brothers & Company and the 
closely affiliated Heywood & Morrill Rattan Company, the 
stock of which was held by the partners in the Heywood Company, 
were consolidated in 1897 with the Wakefield Rattan Company. 
Representing the Heywood interests in the new directorate were 
Henry Heywood, George H. Heywood, Calvin H. Hill, John D. 
Walsh, and Levi H. Greenwood. The Wakefield interests were rep- 
resented by Charles H. Lang, Jr., Aretas Blood, and Frank G.Web- 
ster, of the firm of Kidder, Peabody & Co., bankers, of Boston, the 
first two having been directors of the Wakefield Rattan Company. 
William H. Baxter, an old and valued salesman of the Heywood 
warehouse in New York City, and a resident of the State of New 
Jersey, was elected a director to comply with a provision of the New 
Jersey law, under which the Company was incorporated. The capital 
consisted of four millions of seven percent cumulative preferred 
stock and two millions of common stock of one hundred dollars per 
share par value. The officers elected were Henry Heywood, presi- 
dent; Charles H. Lang, Jr., first vice-president; John D. Walsh, sec- 
ond vice-president; George H. Heywood, treasurer; and Theodore 
L. Harlow, secretary. 

Henry Heywood, son of Seth Heywood, youngest of the original 
"Heywood Brothers," was born in Gardner in 1836. He received 
his education in the public schools, at the academy in Westminster, 

[ ^3 ] 

A Completed Century 

an adjoining town, and at Shelburne Falls Academy, in those days 
two of the leading educational institutions in Massachusetts. When 
eighteen he entered the business, and in the seven years of his presi- 
dency, the company was benefited by the many years of training that 
had given him intimate knowledge of the details of the chair indus- 
try. A man generous in his impulses, it is interesting to record the 
following story of an incident and a chance remark that led perhaps 
to the establishment of a splendid institution as a memorial to him. 
A few years before Mr. Heywood's death, the son of an employee 
lost his fingers in the factory. Mr. Heywood suggested that the case 
be given attention at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and, when 
the father of the boy said that it would be impossible because funds 
were lacking, remarked that he himself had money enough. " And 
I 'U tell you what I want to do," he continued; "cases of this sort are 
coming up all the time and I hope to build a hospital which can at- 
tend to them." Near the shore of Crystal Lake in Gardner, looking 
down upon the widespread factory buildings half a mile away, now 
stands the Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital, built in 1907 by 
Martha Heywood, widow of Henry Heywood. The expense of its 
operation is met largely by the income fi"om an endowment fund es- 
tablished by Mrs. Heywood and later generously increased by her 
daughter, Helen R. Heywood. A iree bed, endowed by the Heywood- 
Wakefield Company, is available for employees of the Corporation. 
A sad blow came to Mr. Heywood in 1 898 in the death of his 
son, George H. Heywood. A young man of keen intelligence and 
of determined character, possessed of an intimate knowledge of the 
business and having among his duties the supervision of many of 



£ f b m Kia ^i; ir~Ulli' 





The Consolidation 

the manufacturing operations at the Gardner plant, his death was 
also a distinct loss to the Corporation. In order to assume the duties 
of the treasurership thus made vacant, C. H. Lang, Jr., resigned his 
position as vice-president and Calvin H. Hill was elected to that po- 
sition. In the same year the death of Aretas Blood caused a second 
vacancy on the board of directors, and George Heywood, brother 
of Henry Heywood, and Louis E. Carlton were elected to the 

Louis E. Carlton, destined to become president of the Corpora- 
tion upon the death of Henry Heywood, was born in 1 862 in Ash- 
burnham, a town adjacent to Gardner. When he was seven years of 
age, his parents moved to Gardner, his father having secured work 
as engineer at the Heywood plant, a position which he held for many 
years, until his death. The younger Carlton was clerk in a grocery 
store at the age of seventeen and two years later entered the employ 
of Heywood Brothers & Company. His first "job " was sorting rat- 
tans as they were received from the Far East. By 1882 he had be- 
come foreman of the Rattan Department. He was elected a director 
in 1892, and in 1904, upon the death of Henry Heywood, was 
chosen president of the Corporation. For eight years Mr. Carlton 
guided the affairs of the Corporation, his intimate knowledge of 
manufacturing being supplemented by a character that commanded 
the respect and loyalty of his associates. 

Upon the death of Mr. Carlton in 19 12, Charles H. Lang, Jr., 
was elected to succeed him, and Fred L. Butler, one of the execu- 
tives of the Gardner plant, became treasurer. 

Charles H. Lang, Jr., to whose energy and persistence the consoli- 

[ ^-5 ]' 

A Completed Century 

dation of the Heywood and Wakefield enterprises was chiefly due, 
was born in Dover, New Hampshire, in 1850. His parents moved 
to Reading, Massachusetts, when he was two years old, and at the 
age of sixteen he left high school to help his father, who was in the 
express business. A part of each day being unoccupied, the young 
man found opportunity to attend the Bryant & Stratton Business 
College in Boston. He was a grocery clerk in Boston from 1868 to 
I 87 1 , and one day, as he was returning home on a suburban train, 
he entered into conversation with a stranger whose seat he shared. 
They talked of many things, and, before they separated, the stranger, 
who turned out to be Cyrus Wakefield, offered him a position with 
the Wakefield Rattan Company. It was the turning-point in Charles 
Lang's career. From 1873 to 1881 he was in the employ of the 
Boston office, and, as salesman, covered the larger cities as far west 
as the Rocky Mountains. So valuable did he become to the organi- 
zation that no important change in the policy of the firm was made 
without first consulting him. 

In 1899 the Buffalo warehouse was established. 

At the annual meeting in February, 1 905, George Heywood re- 
fused reelection to the directorate because of iU health, and his death 
occurred later in the year. 

A representative of the fourth generation of Heywoods now ap- 
pears in the person of Seth Heywood, son of George H. Heywood 
and great-grandson of Seth Heywood, one of the original " Hey- 
wood Brothers." Mr. Heywood was elected to the board of directors 
in 1 9 1 2, together with Henry H. Morrill, son of Amos Morrill, and 

Charles A. Stone, of the firm of Stone & Webster, of Boston. 

[26 ] 

The Consolidation 

An additional million dollars of common stock was issued in 
1 9 1 3 to permit large additions to the Chicago plant, and in 1 9 1 6 
the outstanding stock of the Washburn & Heywood Chair Com- 
pany was purchased. Four years later a simUar purchase secured con- 
trol of the Oregon Chair Company. John D. Walsh and William H. 
Baxter, directors, died in 1 920, and Levi H. Greenwood was elected 
vice-president to succeed Mr. Walsh. In the same year Theodore L. 
Harlow, secretary of the Company from the time of its incorpora- 
tion, retired, and Henry C. Perry was elected as his successor. In 
1 92 1 the business was reincorporated as the Heywood- Wakefield 

[ ^7 ] 


The Washhum & Heywood Chair Company 

THE little town of Erving, Massachusetts, lies among wooded 
hills in the picturesque country between Gardner and Green- 
field. Its neighboring forests have had a part in the making of history, 
for in them hemlock was cut to build the textile mills which made 
cloth for soldiers' uniforms during the Civil War. The same forests 
flirnished masts for many a sailing vessel in the early days, and the 
oak timbers used in the famous steamship "Great Eastern," which 
laid the Atlantic cable, were sawed in a small mill that stood over a 
hundred years ago upon the site of the present Hey wood- Wakefield 

The first sawmill in Erving was built on Millers River by a man 
named Crosby, who later sold his business to William B. Whitney, 
a manufacturer, of Winchendon. Mr. Whitney enlarged the enter- 
prise by adding the making of wooden pails to the original output, 
but soon failed, and was succeeded by his nephew, William B. Wash- 
burn, who organized a partnership to conduct the business under the 
name of William B. Washburn & Company. Among the partners 
was Levi Heywood, of Gardner. 

William B. Washburn was born in Winchendon in 1820, and 

his youth was a continual struggle with adversity. Nevertheless, as 

farmer, clerk, and teacher, he succeeded in saving enough to pay his 

tuition in neighboring academies, where he obtained a preparation 

for Yale. After earning his way through college, he entered business 

[ 28 ] 


.^ ««^ 

• r 

1 '* 






soon after graduating in i 844, although he had intended to become 
a minister — an ambition which doubtless helped to secure his lib- 
eral education, for old prejudices against college training except for 
a definite purpose might have prevented his seeking a college de- 
gree, had it been know^n that he w^ould immediately become a manu- 
facturer. He was elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 1850, only 
six years after leaving college, and, in 1854, to the Massachusetts 
House of Representatives. In 1 872 he was elected Governor of Mas- 
sachusetts, and to that high office he was returned in the following 
year, but on AprU 17, 1 874, the Legislature elected him a Senator 
of the United States to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles 
Sumner, and a fortnight later he resigned the gubernatorial office to 
complete the unexpired term of his predecessor in the Senate. He 
was named a trustee of Smith College in the wiU of its founder. Miss 
Sophia Smith, and he was also a trustee of Yale and of the Massachu- 
setts Agricultural College. For several years he was an overseer of the 
fund for indigent students at Amherst College. 

A deed dated April 28, 1848, conveys tracts of land and the saw- 
mill and dam at Erving to Mr. Washburn, who for many years 
thereafter conducted logging operations, ground hemlock bark, and 
manufactured wooden pails. To-day only the ruined walls of the old 
mill remain, and through their empty window-casings can be seen 
the turbulent stream which once turned a wheel that has long since 

The lumber yard of the old Washburn sawmill had a very dif- 
ferent aspect from that of the present plant. Those were the days of 
big timber, and it was the custom to have a supply on hand from 

[^9 ] 

A Completed Century 

which orders calling for lumber a foot square and from sixty to sev- 
enty-five feet long could be filled at short notice. Such w^ood was 
sawed on an old-fashioned up-and-down saw, known to employees 
as "up to-day and down to-morrow." Thirteen yoke of oxen and 
four pairs of horses drew lumber through the winter-time from the 
woodlots to the sawmill. Employees were paid every three months, 
some buying their provisions at the Company's store and others liv- 
ing at a boarding-house that was operated by the Company. 

In 1870 Heywood Brothers & Company purchased a half-in- 
terest in the partnership, and the manufacture of chairs was begun. 
Mr. Washburn died in 1887, and his son, William N. Washburn, 
who had assisted him for several years, assumed the management. 
The business was incorporated in 1905 under the laws of Massa- 
chusetts as the Washburn & Heywood Chair Company and Mr. 
Washburn was elected treasurer. In 191 6 Heywood Brothers & 
Wakefield Company, successors to Heywood Brothers & Company, 
purchased all the shares, but Mr. Washburn was actively connected 
with the management of the Erving factory until his death the fol- 
lowing year. A few weeks later the plant was entirely destroyed by 
fire and for some time the question of rebuilding was undecided. The 
productive capacity of the factory had been comparatively small, 
and it was possible that the other units of the Corporation might take 
over its business. Nevertheless, theabandonment of the industry would 
have been a bitter blow to the town of Erving and particularly to the 
factory employees, fifty percent of whom owned their own homes. 
Two thirds of the entire force signed a petition asking that the plant 
be rebuilt, and offering to work for the Company for two years at 








the same pay they were receiving before the fire. In response to this 
appeal, it was decided not merely to replace the old plant, but to erect 
a bigger and a better one. 

Those conversant with chair-manufacturing agree that the fac- 
tory buildings which sprang from the ashes of the old plant are equal 
to any in the entire country. It is only natural that such should be the 
case, for in building the Erving plant the Company had an oppor- 
tunity to "start afresh," to select and incorporate the best features 
of aU its other units, and to install such new mechanical devices 
and processes as could be afforded by a study of the latest develop- 
ments in the industry at large. Behind this plant, therefore, is the 
experience gained £"001 nearly a century of manufacturing. In 1 92 1 
the Washburn & Heywood Chair Company was liquidated, and the 
business consolidated with that of the Heywood- Wakefield Com- 

[31 ] 


The Oregon Chair Company 

THE establishment of the factory in Portland, Oregon, was due to 
a pioneer chair- maker, Arthur J. Kingsley, of Kingsley, Michi- 
gan, who, seeking his fortune in the Far West, buUt the first factory 
on the Pacific Coast to produce medium and high-grade chairs in 
quantity. In the summer of 1 906, Mr. Kingsley went to Portland 
with high ambitions, but little money. His first problem was to 
obtain sufficient capital to launch his manufacturing enterprise. A 
brother-in-law, Albert W. Middleton, who had previously established 
himself in Aberdeen, Washington, where he had banking and mill 
interests, became sufficiently interested to invest, and through his 
efforts William Ladd, of Ladd & Tilton, bankers; L. Allen Lewis, 
of Allen & Lewis, wholesale grocers; and Philip Buehner, of the 
Buehner Lumber Company, likewise subscribed to the stock. The 
result was that the Oregon Chair Company was incorporated in No- 
vember, 1906, under the laws of the State of Oregon with a capi- 
talization of 175,000. Mr. Kingsley was elected president. A tract 
of land of about five acres at 1 190-12 10 Macadam Street, three 
miles from the centre of the city, was purchased. As the property 
extended to the Willamette River, logs could be floated from the 
forests to the sawmill at the plant, and rail connection was furnished 
both by a private spur of the Southern Pacific through the property 
and a track of the United Railways along Macadam Street. 

The first unit of the plant, completed early in 1 907, was equipped 



for the manufacture of oak and mahogany box-seat chairs similar 
to those produced at the Grand Ledge Chair Factory in Grand Ledge, 
Michigan, where Mr. Kingsley had learned the business during an 
eight years' association with that plant. 

Thirty-five men were at first employed, many of whom were also 
from Michigan. Chairs from the factory were soon on the market, 
but it was apparent that the line was not sufficiently diversified to 
meet the demands of the retail trade in such a sparsely populated 
territory. Accordingly a second unit of the plant was built in 1909 
for the manufacture of cheaper grades of chairs of oak, maple, and 
ash. This expansion necessitated additional capital, bringing the total 
capitalization to $100,000. 

Upon the death of Mr. Kingsley in 1908, Mr. Middleton suc- 
ceeded him as president and Ralph M. Davisson was elected secretary 
and a director of the Corporation. The capacity of the plant was 
reached within a few years and its managers recognized the neces- 
sity of broadening its line of manufacture, a proceeding that would 
require still more capital. Negotiations were therefore begun with 
Heywood Brothers & Wakefield Company by Mr. Davisson, who, 
in 1 9 1 5, had been appointed manager, and on March i , 1920, the 
factory became a manufacturing unit of that Corporation, which had 
taken over all the capital stock. Since then reed fiirniture has been 
added to the production, the buildings have been extended, and new 
equipment has been supplied. 

[33 ] 


Marshall B. Lloyd and his Looms 

IN 1 634 Jean Nicollet, a Jesuit missionary, penetrated the western 
wilderness to be followed by others, the most illustrious among 
them being Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet — whose names are 
perpetuated in Marquette, Michigan, and Joliet, Illinois. These voy- 
agers, paddling their way from Quebec to the Mississippi, entered 
Green Bay and the Menominee River, where the city of Menominee 
stands to-day. Closely following them came the ftir-traders, who for 
several generations led a life of adventure throughout what is now 
known as the Middle West. It was not, however, until 1832 that 
two of these traders built the first sawmill on the Menominee River, 
the beginning of an industry which was destined to flourish as long 
as timber remained in the forests to be cut. Lumbering was at its 
height in the early nineties, and thousands upon thousands of logs 
crashed down the Menominee River each year. Nearly thirty saw- 
mills, all running at full capacity, dotted its banks and the shores of 
Green Bay. Soon Menominee was producing more lumber than any 
city of its size in the world. Marinette on the Wisconsin side of the 
river and Menominee on the Michigan side were the scenes of fre- 
quent lumber-jack revels, and the saloons on Menominee's main 
street were three times as numerous as the sawmills. 

With the dwindling of the forests came an inevitable decline in 
the industry. By the beginning of the present century the lumber 
days were practically over, and Menominee had assumed a Sleepy 



Hollow appearance which gave little indication that better times 
were again close at hand. The year 1906, however, witnessed the 
establishment in Menominee of an enterprise that was to do much 
toward the upbuilding of the community. 

Marshall B. Lloyd was born in Minneapolis in 1858. While he 
was still a child, his family moved to a farm near the little village 
of Meaford in Ontario, Canada, and financial difficulties soon forced 
him to leave school to assist his father in a shingle mill. From his 
boyhood he displayed an inventive turn of mind, his first invention 
being an eaves trough for houses or barns made from split cedar 
poles from which the centres had been removed. Money earned as 
a peddler later helped to defray the cost of developing various me- 
chanical devices. Ever impelled by his desire to give fi-ee rein to his 
inventive genius, Mr. Lloyd served as grocery clerk, factory hand, 
hotel waiter — all temporary positions accepted with the one idea 
of obtaining the end he sought. Speculation in real estate enabled 
him to buy a farm in North Dakota, and in addition to tilling it, 
he acted as insurance agent. 

It was in North Dakota that he gained his first manufacturing 
experience as, prompted by his knowledge of farming, he invented 
a combination scale and bag-holder, so that one man instead of two 
could fill and weigh sacks of wheat. The invention was a success, 
and Mr. Lloyd rented a small blacksmith shop at St. Thomas, North 
Dakota, for manufacturing purposes. Soon fire completely destroyed 
the enterprise. With no flinds,but possessed of indomitable courage, 
he again started as clerk in a shoe store in Minneapolis. A disagree- 
ment with his employer ended his work there and he returned to 

[35 ] 

A Completed Century 

his inventing, determined to interest some one in his ideas. He suc- 
ceeded in convincing C. O. White, of Minneapolis, of the value of 
his scale for weighing grain and was offered a position with the C. O. 
White Manufacturing Company. In 1900 Mr. Lloyd bought Mr. 
White's interest in the business, and changed its name to The Lloyd 
ManufacturingCompany. Many specialties were already being manu- 
factured, but in addition, Mr. Lloyd introduced boys' express wagons, 
furniture, and baby carriages of hand- woven reed for which he in- 
vented a wire wheel. He also turned his attention to the study of 
the machinery needed for manufacturing children's vehicles — a task 
which was to result in two important inventions. 

During the years in Minneapolis, funds for the enterprise were 
obtained with the greatest difficulty, and finally the refusal of Min- 
neapolis financiers to extend further credit made it necessary for 
Mr. Lloyd to look elsewhere for money. Millionaire lumbermen in 
Menominee were eager to supplant lost industries with new ones, as 
the closing of the sawmills had placed the town in a serious predica- 
ment. Mr. Lloyd heard of them and they soon heard from Mr. 
Lloyd. To merge their money and his ideas seemed profitable for all 
concerned. Mr. Lloyd sold his Minneapolis plant in 1906, began 
building in Menominee, and in the following year transferred his 
machinery and other assets to a new Lloyd Manufacturing Com- 
pany, incorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan, with a 
capitalization of ^400,000. Although the plant at Minneapolis had 
been utilized for the production of hand-woven baby and doll car- 
riages, the new plant at Menominee, curiously enough, in view of 
its future development, at first produced boys' express wagons as its 

[36 ] 


only type of vehicle. In 1908, however, the concern began to manu- 
facture collapsible go-carts, and in 1 9 1 4 hand-w^oven reed carriages 
were again produced. Associated with Mr. Lloyd in these early days 
of the business were Frank A. Spies, John W. Wells, W. S. Carpen- 
ter, John Henes, Leo C. Harmon, and John M. Thompson. 

There were many difficulties. Mr. Lloyd's associates, men thor- 
oughly familiar with the lumbering industry, could not understand 
the necessity of certain conditions in the manufacture of baby car- 
riages. Production of the spring line had to begin in September and 
was continued untU March, thus tying up a large amount of capital 
over a period of seven months — a situation unheard of in any lum- 
ber camp. Frequently the directors declined to endorse loans, and at 
one time, dismayed by Mr. Lloyd's attempts at expansion, actually 
offered him a bed-spring machine, an invention valued at 1 8 4,000 
which he had assigned to the Company, together with 140,000 for 
his stock, if he would withdraw from the business. He refused, and 
several of the directors placed their stock on the market for thirty 
cents on the dollar or about eighteen dollars a share. Mr. Lloyd, un- 
able to buy any more himself, obtained an option on the stock and 
offered it to his executives and foremen. J. W. Wells and F. A. Spies, 
two of the directors whose confidence he had won, bought the re- 
mainder — stock which later increased sixteen times in value. 

Nevertheless, there continued to be times when scarcity of money 
caused great embarrassment to the struggling concern. Frequently 
it was hard to meet the payroll. On one occasion Mr. Lloyd sold 
his watch to help matters a little, and frequently members of his 
organization lent their own personal fiinds to tide the Company over 

[37 ] 

A Completed Century 

its temporary difficulties. One valued employee, long an associate of 
Mr. Lloyd, once drew her entire savings from the bank and used 
the money to help buy materials that the plant might continue to 
operate. Despite these financial problems and the difficulties of con- 
ducting a business so harassed, the inventive mind of Mr. Lloyd con- 
tinued active, and in 1 9 1 o he brought out a process of welding 
which was to prove of great value in connection with the manufac- 
turing of handles for baby carriages and for other purposes. 

Following this new method came the development of Mr. Lloyd's 
most important invention — the process of weaving fibre — which 
was to result in the revolutionizing of the baby-carriage industry in 
this country and indeed in the world. One of the most expensive 
processes in the manufacture of these carriages had always been the 
weaving of the wicker bodies, since weaving a body by hand re- 
quired an entire day, however expert the weaver. The effi^rts to con- 
struct a loom capable of weaving fibre were accelerated in 1 9 1 7, 
when a strike occurred among the reed workers at the Lloyd plant. 
Mr. Lloyd acceded in part to most unreasonable demands, but with 
the assent went the warning that the time was at hand when such 
demands would defeat their own purpose. The men were stUl dissat- 
isfied, and finally the plant was closed down for five weeks. During 
that period Mr. Lloyd worked night and day on the new looms, and 
when the factory reopened many workmen found that their services 
were no longer needed. A strange new machine capable of perform- 
ing the work of thirty men had taken the place of many a worker. 
This invention of Mr. Lloyd's changed a small organization into one 
of the largest baby-carriage factories in the world. So great was the 



demand for the new loom-woven product that the capital of the 
Company was increased from $400,000 to $900,000 to secure ne- 
cessary fiinds for expansion. 

Although in 1 92 1 the consolidation of The Lloyd Manufacturing 
Company with the newly incorporated Heywood- Wakefield Com- 
pany was consummated, the existing sales organization was contin- 
ued. The products of the Menominee plant are not marketed through 
the Corporation warehouses, but are shipped direct from the factory 
to the dealer, save in the case of a few large cities, where the facilities 
of storage warehouses are employed. 

The Menominee sales organization is in charge of Claude M. 
Dalrymple, whose association with Mr. Lloyd antedates the estab- 
lishment of the Menominee plant. Mr. Dalrymple, who was born 
in 1882, was in his early manhood a traveling salesman. One day 
he read an advertisement for a man "to sell side lines." When he 
called at the address indicated, the advertiser proved to be Marshall 
B. Lloyd and the "side lines" wire doll carts. Mr. Dalrymple ac- 
cepted the position, and was for some years salesman in the Dakotas 
and Minnesota, until in 1908 he was appointed sales manager by 
Mr. Lloyd. In 1 9 1 4 he was elected a director, a position which he 
held until the Company was liquidated. 

[ 39] 


HeywoodAVakejieU Company 

IN 1 92 1 the New Jersey Corporation of Hey wood Brothers & 
Wakefield Company was liquidated and the business reincorpo- 
rated under the laws of Massachusetts as the Heywood- Wakefield 
Company. This step was of distinct advantage to the great majority 
of the stockholders who, as residents of Massachusetts, were thus 
relieved of the imposition of the state income tax on their divi- 
dends. The holders of preferred stock in the old Corporation were 
allowed to exchange share for share for the new first preferred stock, 
and holders of common stock were given two shares of common in 
the new Corporation for each share previously held, thus increas- 
ing the common stock from 30,000 to 60,000 shares. There were 
also issued 30,000 shares of second preferred stock, which were 
given to the holders of stock in The Lloyd Manufacturing Com- 
pany in payment for that property. Marshall B. Lloyd was appointed 
manager of the Menominee factory and was elected a director to rep- 
resent the holders of the second preferred stock, and Henry Horn- 
blower, of the banking house of Hornblower & Weeks, Boston, was 
also made a member of the board. 

The death of Charles H. Lang, president of the Company, oc- 
curred in December, 1 92 1 . Levi H. Greenwood was elected to suc- 
ceed him, and Seth Heywood and Henry H. Morrill were made 
vice-presidents. The following year, upon the resignation of Fred 
L. Butler, Henry C. Perry was elected to the office of treasurer, con- 


The Incorporation 

tinuing to hold his former position of secretary of the Corporation. 
In 1923 George L. Barnes, counsel for the Corporation, became a 
vice-president. Calvin H. Hill retired as manager of the Chicago 
factory in the same year, to be succeeded by his son, Frederic K. 
Hill. The following year Marshall B. Lloyd relinquished the posi- 
tion of manager of the Menominee plant to become advisory en- 
gineer for the Corporation. He was succeeded at Menominee by 
Maurice T. Whiting, formerly assistant factory manager. 

[41 ] 



HeywoodWahefield Company of Canada^ Ltd. 

THE town of Orillia, most famous, perhaps, for being the 
scene of Stephen Leacock's " Sunshine Sketches of a Little 
Town," lies in the Province of Ontario, ninety miles north of To- 
ronto, where lines of the Canadian National Railways crossing those 
of the Canadian Pacific afford excellent shipping facilities. Pleas- 
antly situated on Lake Couchiching, it is at the gateway to the 
wonderful lake district of northern Ontario. A town of pleasant 
streets well shaded by the maple, whose leaf forms the emblem of 
the Dominion of Canada, Orillia is a pleasant playground for many 
summer people and an ideal working place the year round. 

Here, in 1 92 1 , a small assembling plant was established, the per- 
sonnel of which consisted of five employees. Baby-carriage parts, 
manufactured by the plant in Menominee, were sent to Orillia to 
be assembled for the Canadian trade. Three quarters of the twenty- 
five hundred feet of floor space were devoted to warehouse purposes. 

The business prospered, and to the little corner of space origi- 
nally leased, an additional forty thousand square feet were added. 
Manufacturing operations began with the installation of two of the 
Lloyd looms and the necessary complement of fibre-twisting ma- 
chinery. As time went on, more and more of the manufacturing 
activities of Menominee were duplicated, until to-day the greater 
part of the manufacturing of the Orillia product is done in Orillia 








In March, 1923, the business was incorporated under the laws of 
the Dominion as Hey wood-Wakefield Company of Canada, Ltd. 
Alfred J. Lloyd, formerly an employee of the Menominee plant, 
and a nephew of Marshall B. Lloyd, was appointed factory manager. 
The business has grown steadily, and although the number of em- 
ployees averages only thirty-five, that fact is not at all indicative of the 
volume of production, since, with modern machinery and methods, 
the amount of labor is kept at a minimum, and the plant, despite 
its small force of employees, ranks with the largest carriage-pro- 
ducing concerns in the Dominion. The Canadian Company main- 
tains a salesroom and warehouse facilities in Montreal. 




THE warehouse system of the Corporation is unique in the 
sense that it provides not merely storage space to expedite de- 
liveries to customers and salesrooms for the display of merchandise, 
but affords also facilities for considerable manufacturing operations. 
Merchandise from the factories is shipped to the warehouses "in the 
white " (unfinished) and so far as possible" K.D." (knocked down or 
unassembled) , a method that greatly reduces the freight charges and 
gives each warehouse the opportunity of finishing and upholster- 
ing its goods in accordance with the desires of the individual dealer. 
The system also in effect fiirnishes the dealer with storage facilities 
since, assured of reasonably prompt delivery, he can purchase in 
smaller quantities than he could safely do were he dependent on fac- 
tory delivery. 

New York 
As early as i 867 a warehouse was established in New York City, 
primarily as a clearing-house for export trade. Located on Pearl 
Street, it remained there until 1 875, when preliminary construction 
work on Brooklyn Bridge necessitated its removal. The second loca- 
tion was at the corner of Mulberry and Canal Streets. There, in ad- 
dition to warehouse facilities, were sample rooms to provide for the 
increasing retail trade. Before long the Company was forced to hire 
another building across the street. Even this not giving sufficient 
room, in 1880 warehouse and sample rooms were divided, the for- 




The Eleven Warehouses 

mer being moved to Cherry Street, where a building was erected 
for the purpose, and the sample rooms to property leased at 1 95 and 
197 Canal Street. 

Following the incorporation of Heywood Brothers & Wakefield 
Company in i 897, increased business made it necessary to rent a 
building on Madison Street in order that additional space might be 
obtained for storage and finishing. During the winter of 1 899 and 
1 900, a disastrous fire completely destroyed the Cherry Street prop- 
erty, but the Company showed its resourceflilness by doing business 
and filling orders on scheduled time at 129 Charlton Street on the 
morning after the fire. The Madison Street store continued to serve 
as a warehouse until several years later, when it, too, was burned, 
and a large buUding at the corner of Greenwich and Charles Streets 
was leased for warehouse purposes. These three buildings — for the 
sample rooms still remained at 195 and 197 Canal Street — held 
the business until 1 9 1 1 , when all branches were combined in the 
present warehouse on West Thirty-Fourth Street, which was erected 
by the Company. 

Amos Morrill was in charge of the New York warehouse from 
its early days until his death in 1 89 1 . He was succeeded by John D. 
Walsh, a member of the firm, and Spencer Swain, formerly a sales- 
man, who became co-manager. Mr. Swain died in 1 9 1 4, and, upon 
the death of Mr. Walsh in 1920, Henry H. Morrill, son of Amos 
Morrill, was appointed manager. 

Although some of the other warehouses of the Corporation do 
a small amount of export business, practically all the export sales are 
handled by the New York warehouse, which sends its representatives 


A Completed Century 

to South America, the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America. 
The Corporation also leases space in The New York Furniture 
Exchange, 206 Lexington Avenue, where the " Lloyd lines " of baby- 
carriages and fibre fiirniture produced at the Menominee factory are 


The second warehouse of the Company was opened in Philadel- 
phia in the spring of i 874, under the management of Frederick W. 
Brown. Prior to his connection with the Company, Mr. Brown had 
been a chemist, and his knowledge of chemistry served him in good 
stead in the selection of stains and varnishes used for finishing chairs. 

Two floors of the building at 804 Market Street, now the site of 
the department store of Gimbel Brothers, were first occupied. Later, 
the business was moved to 2 3 5 Market Street, not far from the old 
Christ Church of Revolutionary fame. The business prospered, and 
a third and much larger building was secured at the corner of Broad 
and Cherry Streets, a structure that had once housed the herdics 
which preceded the modern taxicabs. In i 892 an eight-story build- 
ing at 1 1 o Race Street was leased, and here the warehouse remained 
until 1 908, when it was moved to its present building, which was 
especially designed for the requirements of the business. The location 
at 244-254 South Fifth Street is in a particularly interesting section 
of Philadelphia. Only a square from Independence Hall, it is sur- 
rounded by many other historic shrines, such as Carpenter's Hall, the 
Custom House, and the First Presbyterian Church, founded in 1 698. 

Samuel Sailor succeeded Mr. Brown as manager in 1893, but 





Temporary S>iiarters after the Fire 

The Eleven Warehouses 

four years later left Philadelphia to become manager of the Chicago 
warehouse. George L. Roden, who was appointed his successor, 
resigned in 1906, and was succeeded by William R. Waters, pre- 
viously manager of the warehouse of the Walter Heywood Chair 
Company in New York City and of the Buffalo warehouse of Hey- 
wood Brothers & Company. Mr. Waters retired in 1 9 1 8 because 
of ill health, and G. Rogers WilUams was appointed manager. 

A customer frequently seen at the Philadelphia store in the early 
days was John Wanamaker, whose tall silk hat made him a distin- 
guished figure. Mr. Sailor, knowing Mr. Wanamaker's belief in the 
value of advertising, once asked him if he could ever estimate how 
much good it really did. Mr. Wanamaker replied that he could not, 
but added : " I only know that when I advertise heavily my sales in- 
crease, when I advertise only a little they decrease, and if I stopped 
altogether, I should have to go out of business." 

Large numbers of chairs have been sold for use at Philadelphia 
conventions. The Republican National Convention of 1 900, which 
nominated William McKinley for President and Theodore Roose- 
velt for Vice-President, and which was held in the Export Exposition 
Building, ordered fifteen thousand special chairs. In 1912 fifteen 
thousand opera chairs with veneer seats and backs were fiirnished 
for a convention of the Gesang-Verein Singing Society. 

San Francisco 
Sherwood W. Fuller opened the first Heywood warehouse on the 
Pacific Coast in 1 876 at 5 1 o Washington Street, San Francisco, in a 

[47 ] 

A Completed Century 

two-story building which was one of the few destined to withstand 
the earthquake and fire of 1906. 

Stock was obtained from the Gardner factory and supplemented 
by purchases of general furniture, all of which were shipped by 
steamer from New York. In 1 879 the warehouse was moved to a 
three-story building at 583-587 Mission Street. The first shipment 
of rattan furniture was received about 1882, and a little later, addi- 
tional space was secured, making it possible to assemble framework 
which came from the factories knocked down. 

Increasing business made necessary a change in location, and in 
1884 the Company was occupying a four-story building at 659- 
663 Mission Street. In 1897 another building was leased for the 
manufacture of reed and rattan products and baby carriages. Both 
warehouse and factory were destroyed in the disastrous fire which 
followed the earthquake, and on the morning of April 18, 1906, 
the assets of the San Francisco warehouse consisted merely of a pair 
of horses — which at that time were wandering about the city and 
were later discovered on the Presidio, San Francisco's military reser- 
vation — and the contents of a safe which were badly carbonized, but 
from which a duplicate set of records was secured. 

A few days after the fire a temporary office was opened in Oak- 
land, where stock obtained from the Portland and Los Angeles ware- 
houses was sold. A warehouse on the tracks of the Southern Pacific 
Company was soon built, stock secured, and business gradually re- 
sumed. During this period the office and salesroom were at 721- 
723 Howard Street in a building that had been constructed with 

[ 48 ] 

The Eleven Warehouses 

difficulty, but was ready for occupancy on May 25, 1906. By the 
latter part of the year the Company had leased a building at Green 
and Sansome Streets, one of the first concrete structures erected after 
the conflagration. Sixty-two thousand square feet gave ample room 
for office, salesroom, and aU operations, especially since the manu- 
facture of reed furniture and baby carriages had been discontinued. 
The store was moved to its present spacious building at 737-743 
Howard Street in February, 1 9 1 1 . 

Upon the death of S. W. FuUer in 1 92 1 , he was succeeded by 
his son, Henry H. Fuller, who resigned in 1 924 to engage in other 
business, being in turn succeeded by Roswell N. Burgess, the present 

The Corporation also leases space in the Furniture Exchange 
Building at 180 New Montgomery Street for the display of the 
" Lloyd lines" of baby carriages and fibre flirniture produced at the 
Menominee factory. 

On the first day of January, i 877, a warehouse was opened in Balti- 
more at the corner of Calvert and German Streets. The property had 
been previously owned by Thomas H. Hanson, who had conducted 
a chair jobbing business there and, wishing to retire, sold his small 
stock and building to Heywood Brothers & Company. As it was in 
the heart of the flirniture district, the location proved a particularly 
desirable one. Benjamin H. Stuart, of the Walter Heywood Chair 
Company of New York, was appointed manager. Within five years 

[ 49] 

A Completed Century 

the business had expanded until it required greater warehouse space, 
and a new location was found in the three upper floors of a five- 
story building at 808 Low Street. 

Two years after the warehouse was moved to Low Street, an ex- 
plosion in a building on the opposite side of an alley at the back 
demolished the engine house and destroyed the rear of the first, sec- 
ond, and part of the third floors. The accident, which occurred about 
seven o'clock in the morning, resulted in the death of the engineer; 
had it happened later, there would doubtless have been other casual- 
ties. The wreckage was cleared away, repairs were completed in 
about three months, and Heywood Brothers & Company came into 
full possession of the building. 

An early incident of interest which relates to the selling policy 
of the organization occurred at a time when Amos Morrill, George 
Heywood, and Alvin M. Greenwood paid a visit to the Baltimore 
branch. During a general discussion of sales, Mr. Morrill, who had 
perched on a large table in the office and was sitting Turk-fashion, 
asked if any one was representing the Company on the shore of 
Maryland. Mr. Stuart answered that the experiment had been tried 
without success, as the salesman in that territory had not sold enough 
goods to pay his expenses. Mr. Morrill quickly replied: "Thatdoesn't 
make any difference. You hire another man, pay him one thousand 
dollars a year, and let the people in eastern Maryland know that we 
are in business in Baltimore." Mr. Stuart did so, and soon the terri- 
tory was showing good returns. 

By 1 8 9 1 the need for more commodious quarters had become 
imperative, and arrangements were made with the Johns Hopkins 

[ 50] 



The Eleven Warehouses 

Estate to construct and equip a building suitable for the require- 
ments of the business on the northeast corner of Pratt and Greene 
Streets. The warehouse remained there until 1903, when it was 
moved to its present location on West Conway Street. 

Mr. Stuart resigned from his position as manager in 1892 and 
went to Baldwinsville, Massachusetts, where he established the firm 
of Temple & Stuart, manufacturers of children's wood-seat chairs. 
He was succeeded by James McDonough, formerly head book- 
keeper. George L. Roden became manager in i 894, but was trans- 
ferred to Philadelphia in 1897, ^^^ Frank Ware, who had been 
credit manager, was chosen to fill the position. 

With the completion of the Northern Pacific Pvailway in 1883, 
many of the wholesale houses in San Francisco opened branches in 
Portland, Oregon, and through the far-sightedness of Sherwood W. 
Fuller, then manager of the San Francisco warehouse, a branch of 
that warehouse was established at Portland in i 884, although three 
years were still to elapse before direct rail communication was com- 
pleted with San Francisco. Four small rooms were leased on the 
ground floor of a building at the corner of Second and Salmon Streets 
and B. F. Hayden was appointed manager. The first stock came from 
San Francisco, but in the fall of the same year was received the first 
carload direct from Gardner by rail. The following year a change 
was made to a larger building on Second Street between Morrison 
and Yamhill Streets, and in i 890 a building was erected especially 

[51 ] 

A Completed Century 

for the warehouse at the corner of Fifth and Oak Streets, which was 
occupied until 1 902, when the business was transferred to its present 
site. Mr. Hay den was succeeded by William H. Beharrell in 1906. 
A fire in 1923 burned the interior of the building so badly that the 
merchandise was ruined and the warehouse had to be rebuilt. Tem- 
porary quarters served for nearly a year, and, with goods supplied by 
the warehouses at San Francisco and Los Angeles and by means of 
rush orders promptly filled by the factories, the business was carried 
on without serious interruption. Upon the death of Mr. Beharrell in 
1924, Harold K. Patterson, a salesman of the Chicago warehouse, 
was appointed as his successor. 


A warehouse was established at 93 Causeway Street, Boston, in 1 886 
under the management of George H. Heywood, who, after spending 
two years in getting the business under way, returned to the Gardner 
factory and was succeeded by Frank H. Green. In i 889 an adjoin- 
ing building at 8 i Causeway Street was leased, and in 1892 another 
adjoining building was secured at 182 Portland Street. Mr. Green 
retired because of ill health in i 894, whereupon Arthur L. Lougee 
succeeded to the managership. Four years later, on January 1,1898, 
the Company moved into its present building at 174 Portland 
Street. The property of the Derby Desk Company, at the corner of 
Central and Vernon Streets in Winter Hill, Somerville, was pur- 
chased in 1 9 17, and on the first of July of the same year ware- 
housing and manufacturing operations were transferred to that point, 

[ 5^ ] 


1" r* i i» !» 










The Eleven Warehouses 

although salesrooms were retained in Boston at the old location, 
where six floors are devoted to the purpose. The warehouse is op- 
posite the railroad station at Somerville Junction. It consists of two 
connecting buildings, one serving chiefly as storage space for finished 
products and the other for finishing. Apart from other buildings and 
close to transportation facilities, it is admirably adapted to warehouse 
purposes. Shortly after the purchase of the Somerville property, Ar- 
thur L. Lougee was made general sales manager of the Company and 
Herbert E. Stratton succeeded him as managerof the warehouse. 

Los Angeles 
In 1886 Mr. Fuller, manager of the San Francisco warehouse, es- 
tablished a second branch at Los Angeles, at the corner of College and 
Upper Main (now North Spring) Streets, of which W. D. Nowland 
was made manager. Los Angeles in those days had a population of 
less than 35,000, and complete lines of bedroom and dining-room 
fiirniture were added to the Heywood lines in order that a sufficient 
volume of business might be secured. A fire destroyed nearly all the 
stock in I 892, and although the warehouse was rebuilt, it was oc- 
cupied but a short time, since increasing sales made larger quarters 
necessary. G. E. Berner succeeded Mr. Nowland, who resigned his 
position at that time, and the office was moved to 756 San Fernando 
Street. In 1896 a still larger building was needed, and quarters were 
secured at the corner of Seventh and Main Streets. A second fire 
occurred in 1902 which damaged the greater part of the stock, but 
the building was repaired and again occupied by the Company. Mr. 


A Completed Century 

Berner retired soon after, and Robert F. Skellenger was appointed 
manager. In 1 906 the warehouse was moved to the building it now 
occupies at 2 1 1 East Sixth Street. Ill health forced Mr. Skellenger 
to retire in July, 192 i, and George R. Hoffman, who for twenty- 
six years had been connected with the Baltimore warehouse, was 
transferred to Los Angeles as manager. A new building now under 
erection at 801-825 East Seventh Street will be occupied by the 
warehouse early in 1926. 

Although for many years the city of Chicago had been the head- 
quarters for several salesmen who traveled for the western territory, 
and although manufacturing operations had been begun there in 
1 8 86, it was not until 1 89 1 that a salesroom was opened, its location 
being at the corner of Wabash Avenue and Van Buren Street. Fin- 
ishing and upholstering operations were then, as they are now, car- 
ried on at the factory. George A. Ellis, long in the employ of the 
Corporation as a salesman, was placed in charge, and for three years 
following his death, in i 894, activities of the branch were under the 
supervision of another salesman, George D. Evans. In 1897 Sam- 
uel Sailor, then manager of the Philadelphia warehouse, was trans- 
ferred to Chicago as warehouse manager. The salesrooms were moved 
to 141 5 Michigan Avenue in 1908, occupying the entire building 
at this location. Mr. Sailor resigned in 1923, and was succeeded by 
Alva W. Adams. In 1924 the salesroom on Michigan Avenue was 
discontinued and a large amount of space was leased in the newly 
erected American Furniture Mart Building at 666 Lake Shore Drive. 

[ 54] 

Entrance Corridor at American Furniture Mart Building 




at American Furniture Mart BuiUing, C/iicago 

The Eleven Warehouses 

The Corporation also leases another large space in the same building, 
where the product of the Menominee factory — the "Lloyd lines" 
of baby carriages and fibre furniture — is shown. 

In 1899, Heywood Brothers & Company acquired the merchan- 
dise and good- will of the New York warehouse of the Walter Hey- 
wood Chair Company of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and the ware- 
house was closed. Several of the personnel of the Walter Heywood 
organization were transferred to Buffalo, and awarehouse was opened 
there under the management of William R. Waters, who had been 
manager of the New York warehouse. 

For three months the offices and warehouse occupied one floor 
of the present main building, or about twelve thousand square feet. 
Additional space was added from time to time as it became avail- 
able, to meet the needs of the fast-increasing business. Before the 
close of 1 90 1 the entire main building was being used. 

Upon the transfer of Mr. Waters to Philadelphia in 1906, Les- 
ter W. Elias, who had been connected with the warehouse from its 
beginning, was made manager. As the Buffalo branch has occupied 
the same location throughout its entire existence, its history has been 
somewhat uneventfril. Perhaps the most notable incident in its career 
was the impetus given the business at the time of the Pan-American 
Exposition in 1 90 1 . For several months previous to the opening of the 
Exposition, enormous loads of chairs on horse-drawn wagons were 
daily seen going out Delaware Avenue to the Exposition Grounds. 

[ 55 ] 

A Completed Century 
St. Louis 

The St. Louis warehouse was opened in January, 1 92 1 , in a build- 
ing at the corner of Sixth and O'Fallon Streets, and Roy E. Loff, a 
former salesman of the Chicago warehouse, was appointed manager. 
For a time aU the finishing of stock was done in Chicago, but later 
the new warehouse was equipped to do its own finishing. In the fall of 
1923, increasing business required additional storage space in a build- 
ing two blocks away. 

Kansas City 
The warehouse, located on property owned by the Corporation at 
1 306-1 3 1 4 West Eighth Street in the central industrial district of 
Kansas City, was established in February, 1921, and George M. 
Keller, formerly salesman at the Chicago warehouse, was appointed 

The largest order which this branch has filled consisted of seven- 
teen thousand baseball seats, ordered in March, 1923, for a new park 
opened by the Kansas City American Association Baseball Company. 
Another larger order which the contract department secured the fol- 
lowing June was for approximately three thousand high-grade up- 
holstered opera chairs for the largest Masonic Temple in the world, 
in Guthrie, Oklahoma. 

[ 56 ] 




In •TL-hich the Execut'h-ve Offices are located 



BY the year 1 9 1 9 the expansion of the business and its attendant 
complications indicated the need of centralizing the offices of 
the executives and creating additional executive positions. An office, 
therefore, was opened at 294 Washington Street, Boston, by Levi H. 
Greenw^ood, then secretary of the executive committee of the board 
of directors. During the tw^elve months follow^ing, detailed plans of 
development were worked out, and, in 1920, the office was moved 
to the National Union Bank Building, 209 Washington Street, its 
present location. To the Executive Offices were transferred the office 
of the president from Wakefield, and also the offices of the treasurer 
and the secretary, formerly at the Gardner factory, and the position 
of general sales manager was created. A little later, a general factory 
manager was appointed, and this was followed by the appointment 
of an advertising manager, a manager of the designing department, a 
general traffic manager, a manager of the sales service department, 
and a general purchasing agent. 

Under the direction of these officials much has been done toward 
systematizing and coordinating the hitherto largely independent ac- 
tivities of the factories and warehouses. A uniform general accounting 
system, with provision for perpetual inventories and a monthly bal- 
ance sheet, has been established. A statistical department collects and 
tabulates information showing the trend of current operations, thus 
affording the executives a complete analysis of the business conducted 

[ 57] 

A Completed Century 

at each location. Insurance on the extensive properties and stocks is 
now placed through brokers, who are advised of current valuations 
from records maintained at the Executive Offices, and purchasing for 
the various units is being brought under a centralized control. The 
introduction of new machinery, and the re-routing of manufacturing 
operations, have resulted in economies in operation and improvement 
in the product of the individual factories. Equally important are the 
results accomplished by a reduction of the number of patterns in the 
many lines manufactured, and the careful allocation of lines or pat- 
terns to the various manufacturing units. Careful studies of the possi- 
bility of standardization of parts and the development of standard 
material specifications through experiments at the laboratory of the 
Company have also achieved noteworthy results. Meanwhile, through 
extensive advertising, dealers have been advised of the reductions in 
prices made possible by lower costs of production. A monthly publi- 
cation, the " Heywood- Wakefield News Letter," is issued from the 
Executive Offices, for the purpose of keeping managers, superintend- 
ents, and salesmen informed of all important activities. 

The mention of perpetual inventories in the preceding paragraph 
recalls an interesting anecdote illustrative of early Company methods, 
told by Theodore L. Harlow, who was in charge of the accounting 
of the Corporation from 1897 to 1919. "I recall how the value 
of lumber on hand at inventory period was taken by members of 
the old firm. They would approach a lumber pile, walk around it if 
possible, and guess as to its contents. A comparison of the guesses 
would bring about an average, which would represent the contents 


The Executive Offices 

of the pile. I venture to say that those methods would hardly pass 
muster with the present Corporation, but I well remember Mr. 
MorriU saying to me, ' We know it is n't quite correct, but as long 
as we know we are getting better off each year, we are satisfied.'" 




THE following roster of the men who to-day are entrusted with 
the responsibility of guiding the affairs of the Company is 
necessarily restricted to the officers of the Corporation, the men in 
charge of the principal activities of the Executive Offices, and the 
managers of the various factories and warehouses. It is a matter of 
regret that space does not permit the publication of the long list of 
assistants to the various executives, superintendents, salesmen, fore- 
men, and other valued employees. 

The Directors 

Levi H. Greenwood 
Seth Heywood 
Calvin H. Hill 
Marshall B. Lloyd 
Henry Hornblower 
Henry H. Morrill 
Charles A. Stone 
Frank G. Webster 

of Gardner 
of Gardner 
of Chicago 
of Menominee 
of Boston 
of New York 
of New York 
of Boston 

The Executive Committee 

Levi H. Greenwood Calvin H. Hill 

Seth Heywood 


The Executives 
The Officers 


Levi H. Greenwood 


Calvin H. Hill Henry H. Morrill 

Seth Heywood George L. Barnes 


Henry C. Perry 


Clifford A. Hahn Arthur L. Lougee 


Herbert F. Hartwell 


Winfred F. Lent 


Raynard F. Bohman Raymond Reed 


Russell H. Scatterday 


Marshall B. Lloyd 
[6i ] 

A Completed Century 

factory managers 


Frederic K. Hill 


J. Herbert L. Smead 


Alvin W. Bancroft 


Maurice T. Whiting 


Alfred J. Lloyd 


Ralph M. Davisson 


E. Copeland Lang 



Frank Ware 


Herbert E. Stratton 


Lester W. Elias 


Alva W. Adams 

Kansas City 

George M. Keller 

Los Angeles 

George R, Hoffman 

New York 

Henry H. Morrill 


George R. Williams 


Harold K. Patterson 

St. Louis 

Roy E. Loff 

San Francisco 

Roswell N. Burgess 


Claude M. Dalrymple 

[ 62 ] 

President of the Corporation 



Secretary and l^reasnrer 








General Factory Manager 

General Sales Manager 

Manager Designing DeparDnent 

General Traffic Manager 

Sales Seruice Manager 

Execiiti-i-'e Office Purchasing Agent 

Ad'vertising Manager 















Kansas City 


Los Angeles 




^ales Manager of the "Lloyd Lines' 

San Francisco 


St. Louis 


Note: Henry H. Morrill, Manager of the Netv York warehouse, appears folloi.i:ing page 62 

among the Officers of the Corporation 


WITH the contents of the preceding chapters still in mind, 
the reader may be interested to learn something of the 
manufacturing methods of the business as it is operated to-day. So 
far as the limitations of photography and the printed page permit, 
this chapter will serve the purposes of a " personally conducted " tour 
of inspection of some of the larger plants and a description of their 
most interesting machines and processes. A glance at the following 
tables will show that our inspection must necessarily be fragmentary : 


Number of 

Amount of 
Floor Space 






















Factory Totals 
















Kansas City 



Los Angeles 



Menominee {salesrooms and warehouse 

space at several 

I locations^ 
Carried fo! 





[ (>2 

A Completed Century 


Number of 

Amount of 

Brought forward 


Floor Space 



New York 









San Francisco 



St. Louis 



Warehouse Totals 



Executive Offi 




Grand Totals 



Products of the Corporation 
Cane and Wood Seat Chairs 
Baby Carriages 
Cocoa Mats and Matting 
Cane and Reed Products 
Opera Chairs 
Railway Car Seats 
Reed and Fibre Furniture 

School Furniture 
Toy Vehicles 
Fibre Web 

Where Manufactured 
Chicago, Erving, Gardner, Portland, Wakefield 
Chicago, Gardner, Menominee, Wakefield 

Gardner and Wakefield 

Chicago, Gardner, Menominee, Portland, 


Gardner and Wakefield 

Gardner and Menominee 

In the following pages the reader may "inspect" the manufacture 
of Cane and Wood Chairs, School Furniture, and Baby Carriages at 
Gardner; Cane and Reed Products, Railway Car Seats, and Mats and 
Matting, at Wakefield; Reed and Fibre Furniture and Opera Chairs 
at Chicago ; the weaving of Fibre Web at Menominee ; and finally, 
the assembling, upholstering, and finishing operations in the New 
York warehouse, which has been selected as the best illustration of 
the warehouse operations of the Company. 

[ 64] 






Inspection of Plants and Processes 

Gardner Factory 
Our tour of inspection may fittingly begin at the Gardner factory, the 
oldest unit of the Company, and with the manufacture of cane and 
wood seated chairs, the earliestproduct of the plant. Accompanied by 
a guide, we leave the main office, pass through an adjoining build- 
ing, and come out upon a nine-hundred-foot covered concrete plat- 
form extending the entire length of several buildings. Here, standing 
on a spur track beside the platform, we note cars to which work- 
men are steadily trucking crates, boxes, and bundles, loading them 
for shipment to all parts of the country. Beyond, where the spur 
branches into other tracks, are more cars that have come filled with 
lumber and dimension stock firom Maine, New Hampshire, Ver- 
mont, and the Central and Southern States. We learn that the varie- 
ties of wood used in the plant include oak, beech, birch, maple, elm, 
chestnut, hickory, and gum, as well as spruce for crating and boxing. 

Lumber Yard 

Piles of lumber tower on every side, silent witnesses that many 
a sawmill has been busy; yet this is but one of the three yards in 
which the stock used by the Gardner factory is stored, since a year's 
supply must always be on hand or under contract awaiting delivery. 
Stock of various dimensions is stored crisscross in huge stacks with 
square openings for ventilation, each sturdy structure resembling a 
veritable skyscraper with tiny windows. Rough sawed rockers, 
backs, arms, and posts are neatly stored in separate bins in stock 
sheds, the ends of the stock forming an unbroken mosaic, so closely 


A Completed Century 

are the pieces fitted in order that every inch of available space may- 
be used. 

Some of the lumber goes to the dry kilns and some direct to the 
saws. The lumber intended for the kilns is stacked on trucks in 
courses with sticks between each course to insure proper air circu- 
lation during drying, and is then trucked to the kUn in which it is 
to be dried. 

Designing Department 

We are told that the visit to the plant will be a great deal more 
instructive if we visit first the Designing Department before viewing 
the various processes of the manufacture of the product. In this way 
we can learn of the detailed studies necessary for the preparation of 
new pieces and the remodeling of older styles to suit changing tastes. 

Here we find the designer sketching new patterns fi-om which the 
draftsman constructs full-sized paper patterns of the various parts. 
Files of information are readily available regarding the shapes of 
knives and tools already in use in the factory, so that as many stand- 
ard parts as possible may be adopted for the new pattern without 
interfering with the general character of the new design. Around 
the walls are sketches of patterns of by-gone days as well as some of 
a type still too far advanced to undertake at the moment. As is cus- 
tomary with men of such imagination, many of the sketches were 
drawn merely for decorative purposes. Samples of special color har- 
monies, carvings, and queer-shaped pieces are suspended from hooks 
and other places of vantage for ready reference when new ideas are 

under consideration, 

[66 ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

In an adjoining room are the sample-makers, the master craftsmen 
of the industry, who build the samples from the drawings. One is im- 
pressed with the skill and manifest long experience of these men as 
they adapt the few machines available to the great number of dif- 
ferent purposes required in building samples. After the adoption of a 
pattern, all of the hand work and special treatment of a piece done 
in the sample room is planned so as to use existing machinery and 
to keep down the purchase of any additional equipment. 

In another room we find men engaged on the preparation of 
specifications and instructions for the making of new patterns under 
existing operating conditions. They also careflilly estimate the prob- 
able cost of manufacture and the expense involved in the way of 
new equipment. 

Dry Kilns 

Having learned of the preparations necessary for the proper 
manufacture of wood furniture, we now go to the Lumber Drying 
Department, where we catch up with the lumber coming from the 
lumber yard. Thirty large brick-lined kilns extend in rows of ten 
on three separate floors, connected by a large elevator. This battery 
of kilns is unique in that no other plant in the country has been 
planned to permit the building of one story of dry kilns on another. 
As kilns so arranged retain the heat better, more economic and per- 
fect drying is made possible. In each kUnare two tracks on which the 
trucks of lumber stand. Steam pipes run underneath the tracks, and 
along the walls of the kilns are water pipes for condensing the moist- 
ure as it comes from the wood. Each kiln wUl hold about twelve 

[67 ] 

A Completed Century 

thousand feet of lumber. When all the kilns are charged, as is usually 
the custom, the amount of lumber being dried would fill a train of 
thirty ordinary freight cars. 

The kilns are so constructed that an accurate control of tempera- 
ture and humidity is maintained, which insures the drying of the 
lumber in a way to obviate checking or warping after the finished 
product reaches the ultimate consumer. Operators are constantly 
watching the controls which register conditions in each kiln. The 
heat in the kilns, at first kept at a low temperature, is gradually in- 
creased until it reaches about one hundred and sixty degrees. Small 
indicating arms on recording thermometers, connected with the kilns 
by flexible tubes, draw graphs on circular charts. These charts are 
used to record scientific data on which to base methods for the cur- 
ing and handling of every kind of lumber under varying conditions, 
and serve as guide-posts to the experts who are in charge of this most 
important phase of the chair industry. Later they are filed away for 
ready reference. Thus, the experience of five-score years insures 
proper and economic treatment even though the lumber may have 
been subjected to most unusual conditions prior to delivery to the 
dry kilns. 

The time required for drying, depending upon the thickness of 
the lumber and the amount of moisture it contains when put into the 
kilns, may vary fi-om ten days to two months. The proper drying 
of lumber requires that the process shall be continuous. The kilns are, 
therefore, run day and night under uniformly careful control. 

[ 68] 



















Inspection of Plants and Processes 

Wood Shop 

When the truckloads of lumber are dried, they are run from the 
kilns to saws in an adjoining building, where the wood is cut to the 
various lengths required. It is the task of the sawyer to get all the 
stock possible from the lumber by cutting to the best advantage. 
To do so he cuts for several lengths at one time, watching each board 
carefully, cutting away defects, and planning to avoid waste on the 
end piece. These crosscut saws range on one side of the first floor, 
while band rip saws on the other side, cutting with the grain, divide 
it into "dimensioned stock," or small band saws cut it to irregular 
shapes. Hundreds of wooden marking patterns hang against the 
walls, so arranged as to be readily available when needed. 

As we walk through the floors above the cutting rooms, we are 
impressed with the great number of different machines required 
for the making of furniture. Planers smooth the flat stock before it 
is shaped. Pieces for making shaped parts, such as posts, arms, and 
rockers, cut slightly larger than the completed article, are brought 
to the required contour by shapers, having knives which spin round 
at more than five thousand revolutions per minute, so fast that to 
the eye they are only a blur. As the knives whirl, the operator, by 
a deft swing of his arms, presses the piece clamped to a form against 
the blade and the shavings fly in a shower. All machines used for 
cutting are equipped with suction blowers, which carry the shavings 
through pipes overhead to a " cyclone," a large receptacle on the 
roof from which they are blown to the boiler rooms. The blower 
system is largely responsible for the neatness which predominates in 
the entire plant even at its busiest moments. 

[69 ] 

A Completed Century 

In a separate room devoted exclusively to their care, large band 
saw^s — the new^ ones three inches Wide and the older ones worn 
narrow^ by constant use — reach to the ceiling. Tw^o skilled saw^ 
filers devote all their time to keeping the Wood Shop saws in good 

In the lathe room seventeen machines are constantly turning posts 
of all lengths and sizes. On some machines a knife, following the 
curves of a metal pattern, roughly shapes the revolving stick, while 
a very thin blade which follows the same outline comes down from 
above and cuts it accurately to shape. Other lathes turn wheel hubs, 
buttons, and rosettes. Square sticks pass through revolving blades and 
are transformed into round dowels. Wood for the back bows of bent- 
wood chairs is rounded by a cutting machine ingeniously fitted with 
a cam which opens and closes a cutter at exactly the proper moment 
to form a long dowel smaller in the centre than at the ends. 

Quite distinct from the work done on the lathes is that of the 
heavy embossing machine in which backs of chairs for export are 
stamped to simulate hand carving, A die, heated to a high tem- 
perature and pressed tightly into the wood, stamps an impression 
in about ten seconds. The designs are too elaborate to appeal to the 
domestic market, but are very popular in foreign countries. 

We are quite impressed with the accuracy with which wooden 
chair seats are made from several pieces of planed wood fitted and 
glued tightly together. A heavy machine cuts a tongue on one edge 
of a piece and a groove on the other edge so that when the two 
pieces are put together there wUl be a close joint and a larger sur- 
face for the glue to cover. After being clamped in presses the seat 


Inspection of Plants and Processes 

blank is ready for planing, shaping, and other processes. Our guide 
tells us that the round frames will be seen bent in the bending room 
a little later. Others are made of four pieces of wood held together 
by small dowels, which fit into the holes bored on the edges and 
glued in place. 

The frames are planed to the required thickness and then shaped 
to the proper contours on the same type of rapidly revolving knives 
that we have seen forming posts, rockers, and arms. After they have 
been made smooth by the sanding machines, they are taken to the 
room devoted to cane seating, where the first process consists of 
grooving the seat frames. Into the groove is automatically pressed a 
piece of machine- woven cane webbing which was previously cut to 
the proper shape by a heavy die. A small elm spline, softened by 
boiling, and dried on forms from which it takes its shape, is forced 
into the groove and glued to hold the cane firmly in place. This 
new method has replaced the slow and laborious hand seating for- 
merly done. Three-ply veneer seats of quartered oak and birch are 
also pressed into the round bentwood frames in a somewhat similar 

Although we have been very much impressed with the accuracy and 
speed with which the rough lumber is shaped on the high-speed and 
rugged cutting machines which are so carefiiUy guarded to protect the 
workmen, we are surprised at the great number of different types of 
sanding machines required for giving the final finish to the different 
pieces. Flat stock, such as rockers, table-tops, and chair arms, held 
on a sheet of rubber discs, passes under three large rollers covered 
with sandpaper, emerging absolutely smooth. Chair backs are sanded 

[71 ] 

A Completed Century 

after they have been bent and pass through two machines, one sand- 
ing the face, the other the reverse side. Turned stock is sanded on 
belts or on automatic machines, where it is revolved against sand- 
paper ripped into the narrowest possible strips and backed by broom 
straw which presses the paper into the beaded portions. Flat tops 
of rockers and table edges are sanded on whirling drums. Irregular 
parts are sanded on flexible belts, which can be adjusted so that only 
the part to be sanded will come in contact with them. Each sanding 
machine has pipes that collect the dust and carry it into the blower 

On our way to the bending room we pass between tall bins filled 
with stock that has been sawed to fit the bending forms. Inside the 
bending room large iron retorts stand near each bending machine, 
for stock must be steamed prior to bending. The stock is kept from 
twenty minutes to an hour in the retorts under thirty pounds of 
pressure. Some wood is boiled in tanks before it is clamped into the 
bending forms. 

Long bows for bentwood chairs, softened by steaming, are placed 
against straps of brass with iron clasps at the ends, forced around the 
curves of heavy cast-iron forms, and clamped into place. The brass 
straps prevent the wood from splintering and the iron clasps hold the 
end fibres so they cannot slip during the bending process. Seat rails 
are made by rolling straight lengths of wood into perfect circles ; 
the heaviest stock, and some of the lighter as well, being bent on 
machines which, as if endowed with human intelligence and far 
more than human strength, move forward and bend the wood. Backs 
are formed in hydraulic presses which consist of four heavy leaves 


Inspection of Plants and Processes 

heated with live steam. When the presses are filled, they close auto- 
matically, and the stock, dried at the same time that it is being bent, 
is removed in half an hour and retains its curved shape. 

Having w^atched the rough milling operations, the careful fabri- 
cation of the parts, the bending of those pieces not shaped on cut- 
ting machines, and the sanding of all to a very fine smooth finish, 
we are much impressed with the great number of different opera- 
tions necessary for the production of a chair. After the various parts 
have been completed, they go to the assembling rooms, where they 
are carefully fitted and put together into a finished chair. Certain 
patterns are completely assembled prior to being shipped to the ware- 
houses. Others are only partially assembled, and some patterns are 
shipped completely "knocked down." 

Every kind of device is used for the accurate and speedy assem- 
bling of the chairs and other articles. Hydraulic presses drive the legs 
and rounds together after the tenons have been properly spread with 
glue. Special forms hold the backs and other parts in such a way as 
to prevent injury during the assembling operations. Each operation 
is performed by an experienced worker, whose rhythmic motions re- 
mind one in a startling manner of the automatic machines seen earlier 
in the day. Inspectors finally approve the different parts before they 
leave the Department, checking for quality of material and work- 

School Furniture Department 

Our guide now leads us across a bridge to a large group of build- 
ings in the rear of the main office, where parts from the other de- 

[ 73 ] 

A Completed Century 

partments are assembled into school fbrniture, one of the most in- 
teresting products of the Corporation. The wood parts of the school 
fiirniture, which is produced exclusively at the Gardner factory, are 
largely of birch, and undergo the regular processes of drying, saw- 
ing, glueing, and sanding in the Wood Shop. Tops, seats, and backs 
for combination desks, as well as open-front and lid desks, are fitted 
and assembled in the Department. As in the Wood Shop assem- 
bling rooms, there are many ingenious devices for simplifying the 
work and insuring a uniform product. One's attention is instantly 
attracted by the electric screw-drivers, which, like dentists' drills, hang 
from the ceiling beside the workmen, while in front of the men 
stand the forms for holding the parts during the several assembling 
operations. Just beyond we see the ink-well holes cut in the tops 
with round blades which spin through the solid wood in less than 
a second, leaving a circular opening with a wooden lip for the well 
to rest upon. 

An important feature in the construction of the desks is the in- 
sertion of an angled steel spline to keep the top from *' working." 
Two saws, set opposite each other at an angle of forty-five degrees, 
cut two slanting grooves in one direction, which are crossed by simi- 
lar grooves cut by two other saws the same distance apart and at the 
same angle, but tipped in the other direction, thus forming two 
V-shaped grooves near the ends of the desk into which the steel 
splines are driven to keep the desk top absolutely flat. Such a device 
makes it possible to construct desk tops with the grain of the wood 
running entirely in one direction and obviates the necessity of put- 
ting two cross-pieces on the ends. 

[ 74] 







^ • 




i V 

■' •; Ij^M 
















Inspection of Plants and Processes 

A battery of automatic screw lathes simultaneously cuts, shapes, 
and threads the metal parts used in the pedestals and bases of the 
school desks. Each tool automatically performs its particular fiinction 
in an almost human manner. The operator merely passes down the 
aisle, places new stock in the lathes, or periodically changes a duU 
tool for a sharp one. 

We next go to the finishing rooms, where the desks are var- 
nished by machines which spread just enough material over the sur- 
face to insure a durable film. Experienced brushmen cover the edges 
and watch for the infrequent and slight blemishes in the machine- 
made finish. The varnished pieces are carefully placed on special 
racks, designed to take each different kind of piece, and wheeled into 
a section of the floor where they can dry without danger of dust and 
dirt marring the mirror-like finish. When completely dry, the parts 
are wrapped separately in oiled paper, to prevent scratching during 
shipment, and are then crated or packed in wire-bound boxes or 

Wheel Shop 

By crossing another bridge we enter a parallel group of buildings 
— part of the Wheel Shop — where in large rooms filled with noisy 
presses are made practically all the steel parts for school furniture, 
invalid chairs, revolving office chairs, and baby carriages. The name 
of the Department has been handed down from the early days when 
the shop made wheels for baby carriages and no other metal parts. 

In rooms adjoining lie on all sides neat piles of steel in sheets, nar- 
row strips, wires, tubes, and bars, sometimes held between upright 

[ 75 ] 

A Completed Century 

stakes or in bins, where they were placed when unloaded from the 
railroad siding. The sheets of steel are cut, by a large seventy-two- 
inch shear with a sharp blade held in a horizontal bar overhead, into 
the standard sizes required for the various parts made in the shop. 

From the stock rooms we go to the Punch Press Room just beyond, 
where the metal parts are stamped and formed. Here many presses 
and other machines, lined up as the pupils' desks in a schoolroom, 
immediately impress one with the magnitude of the work done by 
the Department. Multiple punching machines cut as many as twelve 
holes at a single blow, while just beyond are the cutting and punch- 
ing presses, where the continued hammer of the dies as they blank 
and form the small parts is almost deafening. One of the most in- 
teresting features of the punch press work is the care taken to guard 
against injury to the workmen. Compressed air blows the parts from 
the press as the die recedes, while very positive hand guards force the 
operator's hands away from the work with each down stroke. High- 
speed drills and high-speed cutters mill the ends of axles; smaller 
machines make the threads on thumb nuts, and still others shape the 
hundreds of different parts continuously going through the shop. Still 
farther along we come to the press where springs for baby carriages 
are assembled and riveted in about half the time required when the 
work was done by hand. 

In the forge room we see red-hot strips of steel taken from the gas 
frirnaces and shaped on iron forms. Baby-carriage springs are care- 
fully beaded in a die before being bent. This adds very apprecia- 
bly to their strength. Pushers for all kinds of carriages and strollers, 
made of bedstead tubing cut to length, are bent, flattened together at 

[ 76 ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

the ends, and punched so that they may be fastened to the carriage 
gear. Steel parts which have gone through the forges are tumbled 
in steel-lined wooden barrels, against jack stones which knock off 
the scale that has accumulated on the surface so that they wiU take 
a good finish. Another purpose of the tumbling is to smooth any 
sharp edges that may have developed during fabrication. Special care 
is given to all parts which in the finished product may be exposed, 
and particularly to parts for baby carriages, so that there is not the 
slightest possibility of leaving sharp edges anywhere. 

On the next floor, we are particularly attracted by a great auto- 
matic washing and rinsing machine through which aU metal parts 
must go in order to remove such foreign matter as oil and grease 
accumulated in the shop. The small parts are dumped into metal 
baskets on a moving platform which immediately conveys them 
through swirling sprays of chemical compounds and dips them down 
into steaming baths of clean water. The baskets then rise to heat- 
ing and drying ovens in which after a few minutes the parts are 
ready for enameling or other finishing processes. 

The processes of nickeling and tinningtake place in separate rooms, 
each a small department in itself Steel which is to be nickeled is first 
cleaned in a caustic solution and then washed. It is next burnished 
with steel balls, and the smoother it is burnished the better polish it 
will assume. Plating is done in mechanical plating barrels, still plating 
tubs, or tanks in which electric current running through a nickel so- 
lution deposits the nickel on the steel. After it has received its nickel 
coating, the steel is put into hot water in which soap chips have been 
dissolved, and burnished until it shines. This process has largely 

[ 77 ] 

A Completed Century 

replaced the hand buff, although the latter is still used to some 

The tinning process is more spectacular to watch than the nickel- 
ing, although resembling it in many ways. After a certain amount of 
preparation, during which the steel passes through muriatic acid, it is 
dipped into a tin solution kept at a temperature of five hundred de- 
grees. As the steel plunges into the hot tin, large bubbles rise and its 
dark surface is transformed to a glittering one. 

Returning to the Wheel Shop, we see straight pieces of steel being 
rolled on an automatic rim roller into rims, each, as it completes the 
circle, falling upon a stake placed in front of the machine. Joints are 
welded on an electric welder and the rough edges at the joined sec- 
tion ground smooth. Every wheel is tested, to make sure that it is 
exactly round. 

Sets of V-shaped wire spokes are quickly inserted in the steel hubs 
by operators long experienced in the work, and their ends are securely 
fastened to the rims by a single blow of the press. Wheel hubs are 
finished with nickel caps, in the centre of each of which is applied 
the weU-known Quality Seal with its red background and "H-W" 
in gold initials. 

Artillery wheels also have steel hubs round which the wooden spokes 
are fitted. The ends of the spokes are beveled so that they fit in a close 
pattern round the hub, and the tops are tapered for inserting in the 
hub of the wheel rim. Iron caps, one on the inside and one on the 
outside of the wheel, held securely by rivets inserted through holes 
previously bored in the spokes, give additional strength. Before send- 
ing the wheels to the stock or shipping room, an inspector tests each 

[ 78 ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

by spinning it on an axle, and if one is found to be imperfect, it is 
immediately returned for correction. 

Carriage Department 

Although somewhat wearied by our walk of almost four and one 
half miles in the preceding departments, we now pass through the big 
steel fire doors to another section of the plant. One entire building, with 
portions of others, is devoted to the manufacture of baby carriages. As 
we come into the Department, we are impressed with the big store- 
room necessary for properly taking care of the stocks of upholstering 
materials. Bundles of corduroy, imitation corduroy, and cretonnes in 
various colors, enough cloth for an entire season, are piled on shelves 
that rise to the ceiling. Whole rolls of leather-cloth are here to be cut 
up for hoods or seats and backs in sulkies ; silk floss for crib mattresses ; 
and bales of pure white cotton for seat cushions. 

As we emerge from the storeroom, our gaze immediately rests on 
a linoleum-covered table, where carriage linings are cut from many 
layers of material by an electric power cutter which glides its blade 
easily through the mass, cutting multiple thicknesses of genuine cor- 
duroy at one time as if they were but one. The electric sewing ma- 
chines, flanked by spools large enough to hold ten thousand yards of 
thread, extend the length of the room. The upholstery, well padded, 
is stitched on cardboard foundations by girls whose nimble fingers 
guide the material unerringly round the sharp corners while the 
motors hum with tremendous speed. 

We go from the upholstery-making section to the next building, 
where we find a number of young women and men industriously at- 

[ 79 ] 

A Completed Century 

taching the fibre web to the dowel frames which eventually become 
the bodies and hoods. 

Woven fibre to cover the carriage body and hood frames, which 
are made of dowels bent and fastened together, is cut into the required 
shapes according to dimensions marked on a wall chart that shows at 
a glance the size for each type of carriage. The fibre is then stretched 
tightly over the fi-ame and securely tacked to the dowels. The finishing 
braid is attached in such a way as to keep the webbing in position and 
prevent loose ends from protruding through the upholstery. 

On the floor below we find that the bodies, hoods, and gears are 
sprayed separately with two coats of the best paint procurable. At the 
back of the spray booths revolving fans draw the fiimes from the 
worker and blow away smaU particles that might adhere to the fin- 
ished product. Frosted finishes, in a two-tone effect, are secured by 
giving the carriages a third coat of paint, which is partially rubbed 
off so that the color is left only in the crevices. Gears are baked sev- 
eral hours in a kiln, the black ones at as high a temperature as three 
hundred degrees, and the other shades, such as ivory, cream, or gray, 
at a lower temperature. 

The natural flow of the completed parts of a carriage now brings 
them all together in the main building on a floor below the one we 
came in on a short while before. Here the bodies are fastened to the 
gears and the hoods to the bodies. After attaching the wheels and 
pusher, the carriage is ready for upholstering. As the finely made 
cushions are inserted, a protective sheet of light-weight paper is 
tacked on so as to insure the carriage reaching its ultimate destination 
in perfect condition. Each carriage as it is completed is run upon a 

[ 80] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

revolving platform, where inspectors carefully examine every part. 
Crating for shipment is done with the same efficiency that has been 
evident throughout the plant. A sheet of strong paper covers the car- 
riage completely; the axles and brake bars fit into holes in the sides 
of the crate; the wheels are removed and tied between the handles 
of the carriage; and excelsior pads keep the surfaces from chafing. 

Chemical Laboratory 

We next come to the Chemical Laboratory, which is in a fireproof 
concrete building free from vibration, as it contains no machinery. 
There, delicate balances weigh with absolute accuracy. The room it- 
self is well ventilated, lighted by windows on two sides, and finished 
with acid-resisting enamel — a wall covering that is easily cleaned. 
Its equipment is most complete. One important feature is an electric 
oven with constant temperature devices for drying and determining 
the effect of definite degrees of heat. Constant temperature conditions 
up to one hundred and eighty degrees Centigrade can be maintained 
during any desired period of time. Other usefiil equipment includes a 
water pump for producing a partial vacuum, a centrifrige driven by 
a motor which varies in speed from eight hundred to five thousand 
revolutions a minute, a still operated by steam for producing distilled 
water, and a pressure steam water heater. As in all modern labora- 
tories, electricity has supplanted the gas burner, thus securing a more 
uniform temperature and eliminating the danger of fire and explosion . 

Among such surroundings chemists make their tests of raw mate- 
rials, check suppliers' specifications, and develop formulas for new 
compounds to be used exclusively by the Corporation. Besides testing 

[ 8i ] 

A Completed Century 

and reporting upon samples of all materials to be purchased under con- 
tract, the chemists report upon the almost infinite number of prob- 
lems submitted to the Laboratory by the factories and warehouses. 

WakejieU Factory 
On another day we go to the Wakefield factory, where our guide first 
takes us to- the main office to meet men who have lived in the Orient 
and have tramped the jungle where rattan grows. They show us pic- 
tures and tell of the romance of this important part of the business. 
From them we learn that rattan is known to the Malayan natives as 
"rotan,"and thatitgrowsin the jungles ofBorneo and other islands of 
the Orient, trailing over trees like the wild grapevine and often attain- 
ing a length of several hundred feet. The stalk is covered with a thin 
bark that has sharp thorns and clusters of 4rooping leaves at intervals 
which vary from a few inches to a foot or two. As the vine grows, 
leaves and bark drop off, and joints similar to those on bamboo are 
exposed. Among the many varieties of rattan, which are generally 
named from the locality from which they come, are Kotie Pakkie, 
Passir Pakkie, Sarawak, and Padang. The kind known as "Loontie" 
receives its name from the way it is cleaned, which is called " loonty- 
ing," and consists of drawing each stick sharply around a small tree 
or stake to chip off the silicate surface or enamel. Some varieties that 
grow in swampy lands take a part of their name from the Malayan 
word "Ayer," meaning water, as Sega Ayer or Rotan Ayer. 

They tell us that rattan is cut by natives in the jungles and brought 
down the rivers to the nearest trading-post, where it is purchased 

[ 8a ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

by dealers, usually Chinese, who ship it on small steamers to the 
rattan markets in Singapore or Macassar, the latter having become 
an important rattan market since the World War. In Singapore the 
Corporation has its own Godown or warehouse, and a buyer inspects 
the rattans as they are brought up the river, bidding upon such lots 
as he wishes to purchase. The manager of the Department at Wake- 
field cables orders and instructions regarding monthly shipments to 
the representatives in Singapore. The rattan is weighed and sorted in 
the Singapore Godown, rejections are sold locally, and the good stock 
is sent to the washing yard, where it is washed with sand. It is then 
sulphur-bleached, dried, bundled, and tagged for shipment. 

Rattan and Cane Department 

Having learned the story of rattan prior to its arriving at Wake- 
field, we leave the main office and cross a wide courtyard to a large 
brick building, where the bundles of rattan are received fi-om the 
storage sheds. Here the rattan is weighed and submerged in troughs 
of cold water for about twenty minutes. Soaking makes the rattan 
more pliable and easier to work. It is then picked up by an overhead 
conveyor and carried to an adjoining room, where experienced men 
sort it for quality and place it so that all the joints are in the same 
direction. This arrangement insures the scraping of the rough joints 
when the outside of the rattan is split away from the core. 

Large bundles of graded rattan are carried on an overhead trolley 
to the splitting room, where the first important step in the manu- 
facture of cane and reed takes place. Here are groups of splitting 
machines in long parallel lines, with large piles of raw rattan beside 

[ 83 ] 

A Completed Century 

each machine and racks in front piled with reed, and hooks from 
which hang bundles of cane. 

We learn that reed is the inside or core of rattan and cane the out- 
side or hard skin. Each splitting machine is fitted with an ingeniously 
designed set of knives. One blade scrapes the joints and another splits 
the skin of the rattan into a number of fine strands of cane, at the 
same time peeling them from the reed core. Rapidly revolving feed 
rollers grip each stick of rattan as it is pushed into place and force it 
against the multi-bladed knife. It is fascinating to see the sticks in- 
serted at one end of the machine as quickly as an operator can work, 
and instantly shot out in a spray of cane strands which are caught 
by a second operator as the reed core drops on the floor in front of 
the machine. The dexterity required can be gained only by many 
months of actual experience. 

Several men are busily tying the reed and cane in separate bun- 
dles and labeling them according to grade, size, and variety. The 
reed is later dried overnight, weighed, and stored in sheds. The cane 
is transferred to an elevator as fast as it accumulates, and sent either 
to the stock room or direct to the shaving machines. 

On the next floor we find the shaving machines, which, although 
very similar to the splitting machines in appearance, have four 
knives, two of which cut for thickness and two for width. From 
these machines the rough and uneven strands of cane emerge in 
standard sizes. We are surprised to learn that cane must be shaved ac- 
curately enough to gauge within one thousandth of an inch. Simul- 
taneously with the shaving, the number of feet produced is auto- 
matically registered. A suction pipe over each machine carries away 

[ 84] 



















Inspection of Plants and Processes 

the dust, and the fine shavings are conveyed to a funnel-shaped 
hopper, where strong knives, after the fashion of an ensilage cutter, 
chop them into small pieces. Much of this fine material is picked 
up in a suction pipe and blown across the yard to the boUers, but 
some of the shavings are combed and broken, after which they are 
sold to mattress manufacturers. 

We next go to an adjoining room, where all the cane shaved dur- 
ing the preceding day is inspected and counted by girls, who spread 
the bundles in long troughs and quickly remove the broken and dark 
pieces. Then comes the sorting to length, which is done by men of 
unusual endurance and quickness of eye. It is interesting to watch 
a " cane puUer." With a deft motion of his right hand, the workman 
grasps the ends of a few pieces of cane that are approximately even 
with one another. He then sweeps his arm back in such a way as to 
whip the strands out of the trough without disturbing the rest of the 
pUe, transferring the even ends rapidly to the other hand and repeat- 
ing the operation again and again until all the cane is even at one 
end. The pulled strands are replaced in the trough with the even 
ends at the rear. The workman then selects those strands, the ends of 
which at the front of the trough are approximately even, and again 
pulls them, thus securing a group of strands of equal length. These 
groups are hung over appropriate pegs from which they are taken 
by girls, counted, and tied in bundles of one thousand feet. 

From the inspecting and counting room the cane goes to the 
bleach house, where it is thrown over poles in brick vaults into which 
during the night sulphur fumes are forced from fire pots at each end. 
They tell us that early in the morning the watchman on his rounds 

[ 85 ] 

A Completed Century 

opens the windows and doors to permit the fumes to escape, so that 
when the factory whistle blows, the vaults may be entered. While 
we watch, men are wheeling racks of bleached rattan out on the roof 
to dry. This natural drying prevents the cane from becoming brittle. 
It is said that the sun also materially helps in bleaching cane imme- 
diately after it has been subjected to a sulphur ftime bath. At the 
same time the men are wheeling rattan out to dry, others are bringing 
in bundles which have dried. They are immediately sent to the store- 
house to await shipment. 

Cane Weave Department 

We retrace our steps for a short distance and enter another large 
room which is a section of the Cane Weave Department. Here are 
more very ingenious machines. The cane used for webbing comes 
directly from the inspecting and counting room, and consequently 
is not bundled and packed in the same way as cane for outside ship- 
ment. Long and short bundles are kept separate, since the shorter 
strands are to be sent to the weavers and the long ones to the splic- 
ing machines. 

The first operation in splicing cane consists of evening the bun- 
dles. Women rapidly straighten the ends, grip them squarely across 
the top, and tie a piece of twine around the mass to hold it together. 
The bundle is then doubled and the other ends are treated in exactly 
the same way. The cane is then ready for the skiving machine, which 
shaves the ends to a wedge shape. The skiving is done in one direc- 
tion on the first end and in the opposite direction on the second end 
of each piece. The ends of the skived cane are then dipped in vats of 

[ 86 ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

glue and squeezed between clips to remove the surplus material, and 
hold the ends together while the glue sets. This takes about five min- 
utes, and the machine is so constructed that, as each cane joint is com- 
pleted and secured in a clip, the one which the operator made some 
five minutes before is automatically reeled off and the clip is released 
for a new splice. The splicing of cane is a particularly interesting 
work to watch because of the dexterity of the operators. The continu- 
ous strand that results is automatically rolled on a spool which is later 
used in the weaving process. The whole cycle of operations is so rapid 
that it appears as though the spool were rolling continuously. 

We are instantly struck with the fact that cane looms are like 
those used in other weaving industries. Spools of spliced cane hang 
at the back of each on creels or racks and fiirnish the warp strands 
for the webbing. Filling is put in by a pinch shuttle which rapidly 
shoots back and forth, grabbing in its teeth one of a row of eight 
or ten filling strands. The effect of so many looms in continuous 
operation, with their apparently tireless shuttles and the unbroken 
hum of the feeding mechanism, is bewildering. 

From the weave room we go to the Canvas Lining Section, where 
the webbing is backed with cloth. This comes in huge rolls con- 
taining as much as three hundred yards which is cut into the neces- 
sary widths with a mechanical saw. A long roll of cloth is placed just 
below a roll of cane webbing suspended on a reel over a tank of 
heated glue. As the cloth moves slowly through the glue, the web- 
bing proceeds above it, the two meeting just before passing through 
a set of rollers. The excess glue is squeezed out during the rolling, and 
the long strips of backed webbing are hungon racks to dry overnight. 

[ 87 ] 

A Completed Century 

Rolls of the completed webbing are stacked a short distance beyond, 
awaiting shipment to railroad customers or transfer to the Car Seat 

Car Seat Department 

We now follow a truck of car seat webbing across a short bridge 
to the building where car seats are made. Our guide informs us that 
steam and electric railroads using Heywood- Wakefield seats run 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to South America. 
Motor buses with seats made by the Company are operating in every 
State in the Union. 

We learn that each car seat order must be considered as special 
work, since customers usually maintain staffs of inspectors whose chief 
duties are to supervise the manufacture and installation of car seats. 
To insure the production of the seats according to the exact dimen- 
sions required, the factory employs its own engineers to plan the seat- 
ing arrangement of cars or buses and to prepare detailed drawings and 
specifications for special castings, assemblings, and other important 
features. Manufacturing details are arranged so as to maintain a con- 
tinuous flow of goods throughout the progress of the work. 

The Car Seat Department is devoted principally to assembling and 

upholstering. Steel frames from the Machine Shop, wooden frames 

from the Wood Shop, and car seat webbing from the Cane Weave 

Department meet in this section of the plant. We are told that the 

springs for the car seats are made in this Department on the most 

modern wire-coiling machinery, slat crimpers, and other devices. 

Even a casual inspection convinces one that the work in the uphol- 

[ 88 ] 

^ » IW?»H!?W»«sa 
























Inspection of Plants and Processes 

stering room progresses from one operation to the next in a natural 
sequence. Starting at the first operation, we find the upholstering ma- 
terial of genuine or imitation leather, plush, or cane webbing, being 
first marked out with a cardboard pattern and cut so as to allow for 
adequate welts. Canvas, used as a covering for the spring construc- 
tions, is cut with electric cloth-cutting machines in a similar manner. 
Farther along, workmen are stretching the canvas over the springs 
and tacking it to a stick of wood placed in the frame for that purpose. 
The frame is then passed to the next operator, where a pad made of 
cow's hair, felt, and canvas, sewed around the edge to form a cushion, 
is placed on the canvas over the springs and the finestquality of curled 
hair is spread on top of the cushion. A muslin cover is next slipped 
over the stuffing materials and securely fastened to the firame. Expe- 
rienced workmen of considerable dexterity next arrange the spring 
constructions and padding so as to secure a maximum of comfort as 
well as a long life for the seat. The final covering of leather or cane 
webbing is now attached. Corrugated metal binding and metal corner 
protectors hold the edges of the material in position. A steel rocker 
strip with a patented guide fastens the cushion to the seat. Finally the 
four joints over which the backs move when reversed are added. 

Still farther along, we find another set of workmen making seat 
backs along the same general lines. Special consideration for the parts 
which will be subjected to the greatest wear is apparently the slogan 
of this Department. Throughout the various operations inspectors 
check the work from time to time. 

A rapidly growing business handled in this Department is the 
making of motor-bus seats. These seats are made with pressed-steel 

[ 89] 

A Completed Century 

frames and full spring cushions. The upholstering materials used de- 
pend upon the requirements of the customer, as is the practice in the 
railroad car seat business. The edges of the seats are bound with metal 
strips to protect them against rough usage. Before an order is shipped, 
sample seats, not only for motor buses, but for steam railways as well, 
are made up from parts taken at random and the operation of the 
mechanism is tested. 

Mat and Matting Department 

Our tour has brought us back to the entrance of the plant, where 
directly across from the office is the Mat and Matting Shop. Few 
people realize that their front door mats are made entirely from coir 
yarn like that in the bales which, as we enter, loom up like small 
mountains. At the threshold we learn that the finest coir fibre comes 
from the far-away Malabar coast of India and is a product of the 
cocoanut palm. The fibre is the lining of the outer husk covering 
the cocoanut of commerce. Husks and fibre together are removed 
from the cocoanuts and then must be soaked for many months be- 
fore the fibre separates from the husks. To accomplish this, the na- 
tives bury the husks in marshy fields or submerge them in ponds, 
until the time comes when decay has so far advanced that native 
women may perform the arduous work of separating the fibre by 
beating the husks with wooden clubs, while the children clear the 
meshes of the fibre and clean it. 

At the market, yarn and fibre are sorted according to thickness 
and shade. The yarn to be exported is "hanked" or worked into 
bolts of equal lengths. It is then spread out to dry before it is sorted 


Inspection of Plants and Processes 

and tied into bundles, inspected, and pressed into large bales for ship- 
ment. Upon arriving in Wakefield the bales of yarn are received on 
the first floor of the Mat and Matting Shop, where they are opened 
and the yarn is w^ound on spools for the creels and on bobbins for 
the shuttles. 

We pass on to the weaving room, where we find rows of large 
and powerful looms. We are attracted by the intent manner in which 
the weavers watch the shuttle as it is thrown back and forth across 
the warp while their hands guide the edges of the filling strand. The 
operation of the looms is no different from that of other weaving 
machinery, except that the coir fibre passes through a bath of soap 
and water just before the strands enter the harness, which makes them 
slip into position without breaking. Helpers in back of the loom pa- 
tiently replace the spools as they become empty. 

Our guide points out how firm and hard the mats are and how 
unlike the loosely woven product made on hand looms by prisoners 
or woven in foreign countries. The patented weaving process of the 
Company permits the filling to be regularly placed and strongly driven 
together, as is shown by the diamond designs on the back of the mats. 
This uniform weaving adds greatly to the strength of the product. 

Upstairs we find that the woven rolls go to a heavy machine 
which combs them in a direction opposite to the weave and straight- 
ens out any fibres that may have been pressed down. The long rolls 
of mats are cut apart, placed on trucks, and carried to the " squaring 
room," where women work them to exact dimensions. Raw ends 
are woven in by hand with surprising speed to make a finished edge. 

From the squaring room the mats go to the sewing machines, 

[ 91 ] 

A Completed Century 

where the braid, previously woven on special machines, is stitched 
to the edges. Up to this point the mats have been kept moist to facili- 
tate weaving, but they are now placed in a special type of oven, 
wherein proper atmospheric conditions are maintained by automatic 
control to insure rapid drying without injurious effect on color or 
quality. The dried mats pass to a machine on which knives, revolving 
at extremely high speed, shear them to an even thickness, and the 
edges are combed and trimmed by machinery. After the mats are 
carefully examined in the finishing room for irregular filling and loose 
ends, they are sent to be sheared again and inspected for a last time. 

From the mat inspection room we proceed to the matting sec- 
tion, where attractive multi-colored matting is woven in many dif^ 
ferent weaves on specially designed looms with yarns previously 
dyed in another building. Only one operator is needed for each loom, 
although the speed of production is as great as on the mat looms. 

In one section of the Department mats of special varieties, such 
as wool-bordered or lettered, are woven by hand. These higher 
grades of mats are skillfully finished with a dexterity made possible 
only by long years of experience. So-called chain or braid mats are 
another specialty. Yarn for them is first woven by machines into a 
braid which is later worked on forms by hand, sewed, and shaped 
into mats. 

The Chicago Factory 
A night's ride on one of the world's most famous trains, the Twen- 
tieth Century Limited, brings us to that centre of mid- western indus- 
try, the city of Chicago. On the border of its most important group 

[9^ ] 



O „ 

< - 





Inspection of Plants and Processes 

of industries, the Heywood- Wakefield plant is readily accessible for 
men and freight. In fact, cars loaded on the factory sidings are routed 
over as many as ten different railroads to every part of the country. 
Our new^ guide, not know^ing of our previous trip through the 
Eastern plants, is anxious to take us first through the factory's largest 
division, the Wood Shop, but w^e explain that we have seen similar 
shops in the other factories and consequently w^ould like to spend 
the time in other departments. He insists, though, that we walk 
through the great lumber yard, where square-edged boards are piled 
to unusual heights by means of mechanical piling machinery. Elec- 
tric tractors draw small trains of kiln cars, loaded to capacity, over 
concrete walks built between the stacks of lumber. All about are 
mechanical contrivances for keeping the cost of handling at a mini- 
mum. It seems as though each board has its exact place. We are 
almost prompted to believe that the piles are seldom touched be- 
cause of the orderliness of the whole yard and the precision with 
which lumber is handled. 

Opera Chair Department 

We hasten by the busy rooms of the Woodworking Shop in 
which, we are told, most of the higher-grade cane and wood fiir- 
niture is produced, to the Opera Chair Department, where the chairs 
used in many of the largest and best-known places of public assem- 
blage throughout the country have been manufactured. Practically 
every baseball park in the country is equipped with chairs made in 
this Department, and chairs for theatres, churches, schools, and 
other institutions are designed and built there. 


A Completed Century 

In the Engineering Department experienced draftsmen and en- 
gineers work out seating plans from architects' and builders' draw- 
ings, taking care to obtain a maximum number of seats without sacri- 
fice of comfort. At the time of our visit we find a designer preparing 
fiiU-sized drawings of a special end pew standard for one of the finest 
synagogues in the country, while just beyond his desk lie completed 
sketches of seats for an elaborate moving-picture house which is to 
be the pride of the Pacific Coast. Specifications and directions for 
building the different kinds of seats for each installation are devel- 
oped carefully in order to meet the changes in incline of floor called 
for by the architects' plans. 

From the Engineering Department we go to the wood room of 
the Opera Chair Department, where arms, seat frames, special end 
standards, and backs are received on trucks from the main Wood 
Shop. The first thing that strikes the eye is the manifest economy 
in cutting scroll arms. The operator lays his pattern so that the flat 
side of one arm meets the flat side of another, and a single cutting 
separates the two. All of the wood parts, immediately upon receipt, 
are sent to various types of sanding machines, where each piece is 
sanded. Special devices are used to hold parts of intricate shape or 
design so that they will have the smooth and even surface so neces- 
sary for a proper finish. 

The majority of opera chair seats and backs are made entirely or 
in part of veneer, which is usually birch, because its even grain will 
polish well. Each piece is inspected for uniformity. The veneers, 
which are three-ply, five-ply, and seven-ply, are always laminated or 
arranged so that the grain of one ply runs across rather than paral- 

[ 94] 





B y 1 

^m \ 










Inspection of Plants and Processes 

lei to the grain of the next, and the whole set is glued together with 
water-resisting glue. The sets are then subjected to tremendous hy- 
draulic pressure in cauls or forms kept at a high temperature. Dur- 
ing the drying period considerable care must be taken to make sure 
that equal pressure is exerted on all parts, so that there wiU be no 
tendency to blister or separate. 

As we go down the aisles between the busy machines, we see the 
veneer back and seat blanks band-sawed to the required shape, sanded, 
and rounded at the edges. The arms, standards, backs, seats, and seat 
frames gradually progress as each operation is completed until all 
those for a particular order meet in the finishing division of the Opera 
Chair Department. There groups of men operating special spraying 
equipment, or applying the various color combinations by hand, 
convert the standard parts from the commonplace to artistic finishes 
which give them individuality. We stop to observe a highly devel- 
oped spraying machine used only on this work. Five men stand be- 
fore a continuous belt, which moves the part from one operation to 
the next. The first man places the seat and back on upright pegs on 
the moving belt ; the second sprays the parts as they go by him ; the 
third operator quickly turns them over so that the fourth can spray 
the other sides; and the fifth transfers the finished pieces from the 
belt to movable racks. When a rack is filled, it is taken to a dry kiln, 
where temperature and humidity conditions are just right for speedy 
drying without impairment of the quality of the finish. Flat surfaces 
are painted on machines which resemble a laundryman's mangle. 

After the wood parts are completely dry, they are trucked to the 
packing room, where they are inspected and counted. Each piece is 

[ 95 ] 

A Completed Century 

then wrapped in wax paper for packing in crates or fibre cartons, 
which are so labeled that when they reach their destination the in- 
stallation men may open the packages in the proper sequence. It is 
not unusual to have as many as four freight cars filled with cases for 
one order. 

From the packing room we go to the first floor of an adjoining 
building, where the punch presses and metal finishing rooms are lo- 
cated. Clear white walls reflect the unobstructed sunlight to the most 
remote part of the room. The presses and other machines stand in 
lines parallel to the windows, making possible a maximum of produc- 
tion in a given area and affording excellent working conditions for 
the men. Multiple drilling machines easily drill at one time all the 
holes necessary in a cast standard. High-speed riveting machines 
beat a steady staccato above the continuous thud, thud of the presses 
which blank and shape the metal. 

As the truckloads of finished parts leave the last assembly or 
forming operation, inspectors examine each piece. They are then 
conveyed to the japanning room, where the steel is cleaned. A crane, 
traveling overhead, picks up a whole truckload of steel parts and 
carries it to a tank, where it is submerged in a fluid which removes 
the oil and rust. It is then subjected to other baths untU it is per- 
fectly smooth and clean. The overhead hoist next picks up the 
loaded cage, depositing it on an empty truck which transports it to 
the japanning tanks to be dipped in japan. After standing on drain- 
ing boards, each piece is hung on the pegs of a specially constructed 
truck which, when loaded, is pushed into a baking oven in which 
all the temperatures required for the specific colors may be main- 

[ 96 ] 



















Inspection of Plants and Processes 

tained. When baked, the parts are again inspected and placed on 
trucks to be taken to the packing rooms. 

Reed Shop 

We now go from a department where men and machines are or- 
ganized to the highest degree for quantity production to one where 
individual craftsmanship predominates. The Reed Shop, although 
prepared to make fibre patterns and some of the less expensive num- 
bers in the reed line along the methods of modern quantity produc- 
tion, is nevertheless a place where quality depends upon the skill of 
long experienced workmen. 

To carry away a true picture of the manufacturing methods of the 
Department, it is essential for us to start at the beginning. The foun- 
dation for all reed and fibre fiirniture is a frame of dowels and wood. 
Straight dowels are steamed in huge retorts until they are soft and 
pUable, and bent about castings to give the desired shape, remaining 
on the forms until thoroughly dried so that the bend will be perma- 
nent. It is surprising to see the numerous shapes which wood will 
" hold " when once bent and properly dried. Dowels are cut to the 
proper lengths on a power-driven machine that chops its way easily 
and smoothly through ten at a time. The dowels are then chucked at 
the ends so that they will fit snugly into holes bored to receive them. 

The dowels next go to the machining room, where they are as- 
sembled into frames. Each frame is inspected by a man who, in 
addition to examining it for workmanship, verifies its measurements 
before sending it to the reed-workers. After steel or rattan braces 
have been fastened to the parts requiring reinforcement, the frames 


A Completed Century 

pass to the winders, who wrap strips of reed around the legs and 
braces, giving additional strength and the attractive appearance pe- 
culiar to this class of work. We could spend days in the division of 
the Reed Shop where the hand work is done, fascinated by the way 
the reed pieces grow under the deft fingers of the craftsmen. It 
would also be a privilege to listen to some of the romance in the 
lives of the workmen. Swedish, Polish, Lithuanian, Dutch, Czecho- 
Slovakian, Irish, and Italian, the most expert of them are growing 
old at the work they love, still content with their lot, even though 
their descendants and our native stock are not attracted to it. Some 
singing, others reticent, they weave the most intricate of designs, 
many of which require two days to complete. If there were time, 
we could learn more of the Old World by talking with these men 
for a day than by weeks or months of reading. 

The men work in individual stalls with long reeds lying on the 
floor or hanging from the walls — each stall the reed-worker's pri- 
vate domain. Stacks of frames stand in front of the weaver, and by 
his side is a pail of water into which the reed is dipped to make it 
pliable for weaving and to prevent splintering. The ends of the reed 
are pointed with a small knife so that they may be concealed when 
the piece is finished. Small benches with swivel forms help to hold 
the frame in position as the work progresses. 

In the next room we find a younger set of workmen applying 
fibre web to frames, for fibre furniture, although closely allied to 
reed, has found a distinct place for itself in the flirniture field. Fibre 
webbing is stretched on the same kind of wooden frames that are 
used for reed furniture, and tacked by operators, whose small ham- 

[98 ] 




Inspection of Plants and Processes 

mers drive the nails quickly and surely so that they will not pull out. 
After the web is applied, the piece is finished with braid. Such articles 
as carriage hoods and lamps are shaped about forms with specially 
designed appliances which give accurate and uniform patterns. As is 
the practice in the other departments, each piece is inspected before 
it is sent out to the warehouses for finishing and upholstering. 

The Menominee Factory 
We leave Chicago at nine o'clock in the evening, headed for the Upper 
Peninsula of Michigan, with fellow travelers intent on business in the 
cities of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, or Green Bay, the Ford plant at 
Iron Mountain, or the copper country beyond. The trip takes only 
a night, and promptly at eight o'clock the next morning we report at 
the Menominee factory, an imposing group of five concrete build- 
ings on the shore of Green Bay, a great arm of Lake Michigan. 

Our guide meets us at the manager's office, which is in itself an 
introduction to the wicker industry, for its walls are artistically pan- 
eled with the fabric made on the famous Lloyd looms. A very at- 
tractive braid, a product of the plant, covers the joints in the panel- 
ing and gives a decorative eifect. All furniture and fixtures are made 
of the same materials. The color scheme is old ivory, and bright- 
colored upholstering sets off the whole to the best advantage. 

Fibre Spinning Department 

Since the entire Menominee plant is most carefliUy planned accord- 
ing to the flow of its work, we find the fibre spinning room, where 


A Completed Century 

the wicker strands are made, on the second floor of the first building. 
There great rolls of paper, weighing several hundred pounds each, are 
slit into narrow strips similar to the tape used on ticker machines in 
the stock market. Several piles of these narrow rolls of slit paper are 
stacked beyond the slitting machines, each roll separated from the 
next to permit the circulation of air, which helps in the curing of 
the paper. We proceed to the batteries of machines, where the noise 
of the many spindles is almost deafening. The first is a forty-eight- 
head spinning machine, built along the same general lines as those 
used in the textile industry for the spinning of cotton. Alert oper- 
ators are continuously placing newroUs of paper above the spindles or 
removing spools of spun fibre. The remainder of the great room is 
filled with two-head spinning machines, whose spindles revolve so 
fast that the spools seem only a blur. It is interesting to learn that 
each of these machines has its own peculiar hum, which the expe- 
rienced operator learns to know so well that he can readily detect 
which may be temporarily in need of attention. The spools of spun 
fibre are taken from the spinning machines to a group of large steam- 
heated drying drums, where the fibre is re-wound and the strands 
are run round and round these heated drums, which thoroughly dry 
and stretch them, thus insuring proper tensile strength. 

Farther on are the machines for making the stakes which form 
the weft of the fabric; into these stakes are inserted steel wire cores, 
which render them strong and lasting. These machines take a single 
coil of steel wire, automatically straighten it, cover it with a rust- 
resisting preparation, twist two strips of narrow paper about it, roll 
the stake to the proper diameter, and then cut it to the required 

[ lOO ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

lengths. The machinery is so designed that, when filled with material 
and started, it runs automatically. 

The finished bundles of stakes and the large spools of fibre are 
placed on racks in a special room where even temperature and hu- 
midity conditions prevail, and from this room they are taken to 
meet the hourly production requirements of the Weaving Room. 

Weaving Room 

The Weaving Room is divided into two main sections, the first de- 
voted to the weaving of the shaped fabrics for baby-carriage bodies, 
and the second to flat fabric, which, although called flat, is actually 
woven in cylindrical form. Both types of looms, designed by Mar- 
shall B. Lloyd and built in the machine shops of the plant, differ 
from any other kind in existence. Immediately we are struck with 
the fact that there are relatively few operators for so many machines, 
but the looms have been developed to such perfection that it is 
practically impossible for them to get out of repair. It is difficult 
for the layman to understand the details of the weaving operations, 
so our guide shows us where the fibre is fed from the spools to the 
needle and where it is allowed to pay out as the frame holding the 
stakes rapidly revolves. Small mechanical fingers deflect the stakes 
as they approach the needle and in this way the filling strand is auto- 
matically woven in and out. With each revolution of the cylinder the 
web is raised just enough to give the distance necessary for the new 
strand, and the machine continues the endless filling back and forth 
as a hand weaver would do, only much more rapidly. In both the 
shaped-body type of loom and in that used for flat fabrics, special 

[ loi ] 

A Completed Century 

contrivances pack the strands as the fabric is woven, thus securing an 
even, attractive appearance and uniform quality. The looms whirl 
around dizzily all day long and a good share of the night also, for the 
demand for their product is ever increasing. 

We turn from the looms used for weaving carriage fabrics to the 
other weaving machines. The one most closely resembling the larger 
looms weaves waste baskets and similar work in a single piece. In 
addition there are special looms for weaving flat fabric for flirniture. 
Several are so constructed that designs may be automatically woven at 
wUl. An open check fabric loom weaves the warp and weft in such 
a way that the finished piece has square openings somewhat like 
cane webbing. This material is used for special types of furniture, 
such as breakfast-room sets, lamps, and doll carts. The braiding ma- 
chines are similar to those used in the textile industry, with spindles 
which pass one another's path as they describe the figure 8. Other 
machines weave a new kind of braid with a hard, even edge, particu- 
larly adapted to the decoration of table or desk tops and the fronts 
of chairs. These machines are unique in their simplicity of design 
and ruggedness of construction. 

As we look back over the Weave Room, we note its resem- 
blance to a knitting mill, although it is of much larger proportions. 
The shaped fabrics emphasize the analogy, and the one-piece fab- 
rics coming from the many looms impress us with the superiority 
of this particular fabric over any previously attempted. 

Metal- Working Department 

Our guide now leads us to the Metal- Working Department, 

[ I02 ] 





















Inspection of Plants and Processes 

where the steel borders for edging the panels of the fibre fabrics and 
aU other metal parts are made. There we find large presses similar 
to those in the punch press shops at the Gardner and Chicago fac- 
tories. Small parts are blanked and formed with multiple-purpose 
dies by a single blow of the press. Large coils of strip steel are fed 
to shears and the cut lengths conveyed either to a press which stamps 
them into various shapes, or to a workman who forms them by hand. 

Continuous steel pushers are made for the carriages from strip 
steel on machines which were also developed by Mr. Lloyd. A 
long ribbon of steel is fed into a series of rolls, which fold the metal 
around a mandrel and form it into a tube flattened on two sides, 
so that the joint formed by the two edges of the metal is held up- 
right as the tube passes into the welding machine. Revolving end- 
less metal belts grasp the flattened tube and pass it slowly along 
under the oxyacetylene welding flame, which heats the metal and 
welds the two edges of the tube as it passes through. When cold, 
the tube is passed through another set of forming rolls and made 
accurately round. The seamless tubing which results is cut to the 
required length and part of each length swedged to make it nar- 
rower in diameter, and to give it a long, graceful taper for the upper 
part of the pusher. The other end is squared in a forming machine, 
and this square section is the part to which ultimately the springs 
and axles are attached and which insures rigidity to the gear. The 
tube is given its final shape in a large bending machine. 

Just beyond are the furnaces in which baby-carriage springs are 
heat-treated, bent, and oil-tempered. Each spring, before being sent 
to the stock rooms, is tested with special devices to make sure that 

[ 103 ] 

A Completed Century 

it is perfect in resiliency and shape. When the carriage is assembled, 
it is as accurately balanced as the better makes of automobiles. 

In another section of the plant the fibre panels are inserted in the 
metal borders and securely attached with a blow on a heavy press. 
The panels in turn are shaped on bending machines. We learn that 
the rest of the operations throughout the plant resemble those seen in 
Gardner, Wakefield, and Chicago, except for such special features as 
are required for patterns made only at Menominee. 

Among the many machines with which we are particularly im- 
pressed, is the automatic spoke lathe in the woodworking shop. Small 
squares of wood, fed on a conveyor into one side of the lathe, are 
grasped by automatic holders and pass through various operations, 
eventually coming out on the other side of the lathe as finished 
spokes, turned, tapered, and chucked, ready for assembling in awheel. 
The output of the machine is many times that of any other turning 
machine. Of almost equal impressiveness is a machine for winding 
dowels with half-round fibre strands to simulate reed winding. The 
operator tacks a long strand on one end of the dowel and inserts it 
in a machine which whirls it round and round. As the dowel re- 
volves, it feeds automatically through the machine, and as it passes 
along, the fibre is drawn on it smoothly, and much faster and bet- 
ter than it could be done by hand. 

It is practically impossible to outline the other ingenious machines 
without technical descriptions, but they demonstrate to the visitor 
the advancement made at the Menominee plant during the past few 
years. Everything possible is done to obtain low cost of production 
and high quality of workmanship. 

[ 104 ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 
The New York Warehouse 

The imposing thirteen-story building in which are conducted the 
activities of the New York, warehouse was erected by the Company 
in 1 9 1 1 . Six months after the purchase of the land on which the 
buUding stands, public announcement was made that the Pennsylva- 
nia Railroad was to locate its station on West Thirty-Fourth Street, 
and the Corporation consequently found itself in possession of some 
very valuable real estate for which it has since received many attrac- 
tive offers. The location is an ideal one for warehouse and display- 
room purposes. Practically all stock from the factories comes over the 
New York Central Railroad, whose yards are at Thirty-Third Street, 
only a short block from the Receiving Department, which is almost 
equivalent to a railroad siding. The situation on the Hudson River 
near many of the steamship lines and ferries is a further advantage for 
freight delivery out of town and for motor trucking to New Jersey. 

Sample Rooms 

The two lower floors of the warehouse are devoted to the display 
of samples. We start at the entrance at Thirty-Fourth Street, where 
reed and fibre goods are shown. Suite after suite in the most up-to- 
date and attractive finishes and upholstery is tastefully arranged with 
due regard for color harmony of one to another. The suites are com- 
plete with chairs, davenports, chaise-longues, tables, lamps, book- 
cases, ferneries, waste baskets, and everything desired for living-room, 
dining-room, sun parlor, or porch. On the second floor we find 
polished mahogany office chairs, typewriter chairs, settees, and other 

[ ^05 ] 

A Completed Century 

office furnishings. Just beyond are authentic copies of Windsors; dis- 
tinctive cane-back and wing-back chairs in solid walnut ; Italian Re- 
naissance, Queen Anne, and other popular period dining-room and 
bedroom chairs, artistically decorated; enameled breakfast-room 
suites with servers, buffets, corner closets, and Dutch cupboards; and 
long rows of kitchen and other inexpensive chairs. 

The Export Department, which handles all the export business of 
the Corporation, is most suitably located at this warehouse, as New 
York is a central port for all the world. In a section of the floor de- 
voted to its exclusive use are displayed samples of the patterns made 
especially to suit the taste of foreign customers. As one would expect, 
the styles differ very radically from those popular for domestic use. 

The Public Seating Department has its own display of samples. 
There are the various types of opera chairs used in theatres, churches, 
and other public assembly rooms. Near by are samples of school fur- 
niture, including desks, tablet armchairs, teachers' chairs, and others 
particularly designed for institutional use. Many types of upholstered 
and reed chairs are on display in the Car and Automobile Bus Seat 

Shipping and RECErviNG Department 

The Shipping and Receiving Department is on the lower floor of 
the Thirty-Third Street side of the building, the shipping platform 
extending the entire width of the block. Backed up to the platform is 
a fleet of motor trucks fi-om which freight is being constantly loaded 
and unloaded. The rapidity with which the shippers call out the 
routing ofthe goods is indicative of the magnitude of the business 

[ io6 ] 







Impectiofi of Plants and Processes 

handled. Children's carriages are received, finished, and crated from 
the factory for storage in the warehouse, while others are sent out 
to customers on orders. Cane and wood goods arrive in boxes and 
bundles, "knocked down" for finishing and upholstering at the 
warehouse, in accordance with the special demands of each customer, 
while completed goods flow out near by. Reed goods come in unfin- 
ished, since it is not feasible to anticipate the many color combina- 
tions needed by the dealers, and finished pieces pass them on the way 
to dealers' floors. 

Cane and Wood Finishing Department 

Our guide now leads us to the twelfth floor, where the cane and 
wood goods are being driven up, finished, and in some cases uphol- 
stered. Here workmen assemble the parts into completed chairs. The 
less expensive grades, when set up, are sent to one end of the floor, 
where they are first dipped in tanks of stain and later conveyed to 
the varnishing tanks. Chairs of a better grade are stained and taken 
to the eleventh floor, where coats of varnish and shellac are applied. 
As each piece is finished, it is pushed to a space allotted for drying, 
and great care is taken to prevent dust from touching the freshly 
painted surfaces. As we proceed, we see the polishers, who are care- 
fliUy rubbing mahogany and walnut chairs to give them a soft vel- 
vety sheen. In one corner decorators apply the striping and stenciling 
which add so materially to the appearance of the products. 

Reed and FrBRE Finishing and Upholstering Departments 
On the eleventh floor other finishing rooms are devoted to the 

[ 107 ] 

A Completed Century 

exclusive use of the Cane and Wood Department. Here operations 
similar to those on the floor above take place, but only men long ac- 
customed to the work finish the higher-grade chairs. Women in the 
upholstering rooms on the tenth floor line lamp shades and sew up- 
holstering materials into cushions. Next come the upholsterers, who 
tack in the back cushions and other upholstery. On up-to-date filling 
machines spring constructions wrapped in cotton batting are auto- 
matically slipped into the linings, making excellent cushions of uni- 
form appearance. 

The reed and fibre finishing rooms on the sixth and seventh floors 
are similar in arrangement to those devoted to the finishing of cane 
and wood. The methods of applying different colors are many. A 
workman completing a stippled table-top attracts our attention, and 
we learn that the mottled two-tone effects which look so difficult to 
obtain are easily made with a wad of crumpled newspaper which the 
painter presses on the painted surface. Another workman is rubbing 
off a freshly bronzed piece of furniture with a cloth so as to leave the 
bronze only between the strands of reed. 

Warehousing Section 

The eighth and ninth floors are piled high with boxes and crates 
of cane and wood chairs, arranged in bins that they may be readily 
available when needed. Accurate records make it possible for the 
storekeepers to deliver the exact number of pieces required to make 
up an order immediately upon receipt of the order department's 

The fourth floor is devoted to the storage of reed and fibre pieces 

[ io8 ] 

Inspection of Plants and Processes 

prior to finishing. Great quantities of every type of pattern are care- 
flilly piled in allotted spaces so as to be easily found. The tempera- 
ture and humidity on this particular floor are kept as even as pos- 
sible so that the reed and fibre w^ill be in the best possible condition 
for finishing. 

Stored away in crates on the third floor are the baby carriages and 
strollers awaiting shipment. At the beginning of the season many 
thousand carriages are here — all arranged according to a plan which 
insures quick delivery. 

From the Carriage Department we go to the cellar of the building, 
where the varnishes and paints are stored in specially built vaults. 
Here we find drums of every material used in the finishing of the va- 
rious products. Shellac cutting barrels and mixing tanks are watched 
over by experienced paint-mixers, and each tank and drum is sealed 
at night to guard against the possibilities of fire. Metal-covered cans 
for rags and cotton waste obviate the danger of spontaneous com- 

[ 109 ] 


TO what purpose have been the efforts and accomplishments 
of the completed century recorded upon these pages ? A brief 
answer to that question may fittingly form the final chapter. 

Over five thousand men and women secure their livelihood 
through the Heywood- Wakefield Company. It has been the policy 
of the management to pay these employees fair remuneration for ser- 
vice rendered. The warehouse system, which to some extent allows 
the manufacture and storing of goods in dull times against the buying 
that surely comes when times improve, has assisted in the success 
of that policy. In five years, when unusual earnings have permitted, 
a bonus has been paid, and, although the management has not as yet 
been of the opinion that it can safely adopt a pension system, in view 
of the many unsolved problems connected with such plans, never- 
theless a very considerable pension list represents aid given to-day to 
old and faithflil employees, now retired, who, because of illness or ill 
fortune, are unable to carry on unaided. In each of the four largest 
plants, namely, Chicago, Gardner, Menominee, and Wakefield, a 
hospital room with attendant nurse is maintained, her services sup- 
plemented when necessary by the attendance of a factory physician. 
The Chicago and Erving factories operate restaurants. The Chicago, 
Menominee, and Wakefield factories have Benefit Associations. 

A monthly newspaper is published at the Menominee plant 
chiefly for the benefit of its working force, and from the Executive 
Offices there issues a monthly "News Letter" which circulates among 

In Conclusion 

the managers and salesmen of the Corporation. A bed at the hospital 
in Gardner and another at the hospital in Melrose, a city adjacent to 
Wakefield, have been endowed by the Corporation in order that em- 
ployees may have the benefit when occasion requires. The public 
bath house at Gardner, largely used by employees, is operated by 
steam furnished by the Gardner factory. A corporation such as Hey- 
wood- Wakefield cannot legally or appropriately make benefactions 
by using stockholders' money for the purpose, yet, nevertheless, it 
goes so far as it properly may in aiding those civic movements which 
may be considered to contribute toward the happiness, contentment, 
and welfare of its employees — and in so doing, it assists not merely 
them, but others in the communities where its factories or ware- 
houses are located. 

Following the incorporation of Hey wood Brothers & Wakefield 
Company in 1897, a dividend of four dollars a share was paid on 
the six percent cumulative preferred stock in each of the two years 
following; in 1900, the flill dividend of six dollars a share, and in 
addition a payment of two dollars was made to apply against ac- 
crued dividends of the first two years. In 1905, final payment was 
made on the accumulated unpaid dividends. Dividends on the pre- 
ferred stock were regularly paid from 1900 to 1 92 1 , when the con- 
cern was reincorporated as Heywood- Wakefield Company and the 
preferred stock was placed on a seven percent basis, payments of 
which have been regularly maintained to date. In 1 906, a dividend 
of six dollars per share was paid on the common stock, and in no sub- 
sequent year has the Company failed to declare a common stock div- 
idend. In total, over eight million dollars have been distributed to 

[ "I ] 

In Conclusion 

holders of the common stock. Equally significant is the fact that over 
nine million dollars of earnings have noi been distributed, but have 
been left in the business, " ploughed in" to strengthen and expand 
the enterprise for the benefit of stockholders, employees, and the com- 
munities where factories and warehouses are located. 

It has been the effort of the management also to build up with 
thousands of patrons — the furniture dealers of America — a repu- 
tation as manufacturers of good merchandise. A pioneer in the de- 
velopment of many lines, the Company has never been reluctant to 
enter upon new activities that gave promise of success. First and 
foremost in the manufacture of cane and reed products, including 
reed flirniture, it did not hesitate to seize the opportunity to become 
the largest manufacturer of fibre baby carriages and furniture in the 
country. Its constant endeavor to-day is not merely to continue, but 
to improve the service it renders its customers. Chapter XI, deal- 
ing with the activities of the Executive Offices, describes briefly some 
of the steps taken during recent years which have as their sole ob- 
jective the production of better merchandise that may be offered at 
better values, and a service in connection therewith that may secure 
commendation from the furniture dealers of the United States. 

The End 

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